Market share of convenience store

convenience-store image the number of convenience stores and more convenience store pie chart

The big 3 occupy convenience store market!

  • The market of convenience stores grow year by year.
  • The big three companies(Seven Eleven, FamilyMart and Lawson) occupy this market.
  • Japanese convenience stores open one after another in the world.

Chain convenience stores increased in Japan from 1970s though a convenience store was born in USA from 1930s. Japanese convenience stores continue to develop along thier own paths according to the needs of customers.

They provide various servises, such as mailbox posts and ATMs is installed within the store, utilities payment services, handling of home delivery services and more. They open not only along the street but also hospitals, colleges and office buildings.

convenience store in hospital the number of convenience stores

The market size of convenience stores grow year by year according to the report of Japan Franchise Association. The sales of all convenience stores in Japan is 10.5 trillion yen(105 billion dollars) in 2016, the sales of them was 7.6 trillion yen six years ago. The number of them is 50,451 in 2016, it is more than the number of gas stations(34,706) and post offices(24,542). On the other hand, the number of department stores and grocery stores decreased in the interim.

The big three companies(Seven Eleven, FamilyMart and Lawson) occupy about the 90% of convenience stores market. Seven Eleven accounts for 40%, FamilyMart accounts for 27%, and Lawson accounts for 20%. Seven Eleven got top market share by opening 1,000 stores every year. FamilyMart and Lawson got maket share by M&A.

Seven Eleven has over 20,000 stores in 2018, this number is more than thr number of FamilyMart and Lawson. A quantity of stores makes advantageous to strength price bargaining power of goods and efficient delivery. It is well known that Seven Eleven often starts new service ealier than FamilyMart and Lawson, such as handling of laundry service, freshly brewed coffee and more.

convenience store market share pie chart and power map

FamilyMart and Lawson got maket share by M&A. FamilyMart bought am/pm in 2009 and Cocostore in 2015. In addition, FamilyMart and UNY(Circle K Sunkus) integrate operations in 2016. FamilyMart has about 18,000 stores after M&A. Fami-chiki(FamilyMart chicken) which is a fried chicken is very popular in Japan.

Lawson affiliated medium-sized convenience stores(Poplar, Three F and Save On) to chase Seven Eleven and FamilyMart. Kara-age-Kun which is crispy fried nuggets is very popular. It is well known that Lawson's sweets is delicious despite of its low cost. See food ranking of convenience stores.


By the way, convenience stores open not only in Japan but also in the world. There are about 50,000 stores except Japan in 2017 according to the report of Japan Franchise Association. That is four times more than four years ago. There are about 8,000 stores in USA, 4,000 stores in China, 3,000 stores in Taiwan(Formosa) and the other in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Seven Eleven is also proactive in expanding overseas because it was born in USA. It has the most stores in overseas.

Seven Eleven, Lawson and FamilyMart(FamilyMart UNY Holdings) are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Foreign investors can invest in Seven Eleven and MamilyMart on NYSE by ADR(American Depositary Receipt). In addition, they can do them through many ETFs, MAXIS Nikkei 225 ETF(NKY), iShares MSCI Japan ETF(EWJ), Wisdomtree Japan Hedged ETF(DXJ) and more.