Lawson convenience store chain to open its 1st shop in China’s Hebei in July

17, Apr. 2020

Photo by K Hsu on Unsplash
Photo by K Hsu on Unsplash

TOKYO, Kyodo - Japan’s third-largest convenience store chain operator Lawson Inc. plans to open its first store in Hebei Province of China in July through a partnership with a local company.

Lawson’s local unit Beijing Lawson Co. on Wednesday agreed with Jinyuan Business Chain Management Hebei Co. to franchise the store in Tangshan City.

That city is growing at a fast pace economically in Hebei and Lawson has been in discussions with the partner about the launch of a store there, a spokesman at Lawson in Tokyo told NNA on Friday.

The two partners aim to expand into cities of provincial capital Shijiazhuang, Lanfang and Chengde to launch a total of 50 outlets in five years, the spokesman added.

Beijing Lawson, established in May 2013, opened the first store in Beijing in August of that year. After receiving an investment from a local company in March 2019, the joint venture operates a total of 2,646 stores in China, including 131 in Beijing and 22 in Tianjin, as of February of 2020.

China accounts for most of Lawson’s overseas stores. The Japanese company will accelerate a network expansion to 3,000 by the end of 2020, according to the spokesman.

Lawson has tried to differentiate itself from local convenience stores by enhancing private brand items and selling Japanese-style boxed lunches and fast food, including croquettes and fried chicken, he added.

The company claims to be the first Japanese convenience store chain operator to have tapped the Chinese market in 1996.