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7-Eleven opens Shanghai stores

CONVENIENCE store chain 7-Eleven Inc and Taiwan's President Chain Store Corp plan to open as many as 300 stores in Shanghai over the next five years.

Jason C.S.Lin, chief executive officer of Uni-President Group, the parent of PCSC, said 165 7-Eleven outlets will be set up in Shanghai within three years, with the first four stores - located in commercial hubs, residential areas and transfer stations in Xuhui and Luwan districts and Pudong New Area - starting operations today.

PCSC also operates food and beverage brands in Shanghai, including Starbucks, Cold Stone and Mister Donut.

Shanghai became the third Chinese mainland city to have 7-Eleven stores and there are now more than 590 stores on the mainland. But entry to Shanghai came nearly 12 years later after it opened the first store in Guangzhou in 1997.

Masaaki Asakura, executive vice president of 7-Eleven, said the late entry was mainly because of the regulatory restrictions on the franchising business in China.

"Shanghai is a good market for future growth," said Asakura, "Licensing and franchising will help us run at low operating costs and higher investment returns."

In order to differentiate itself from other competitors, Kazuo Otsuka, chairman and chief executive officer of 7-Eleven (China) Co, said 7-Eleven would highlight the food store concept to focus on dining-out habits of white-collar workers while providing services like photocopying and fax machines to lure customers.

"Shanghai is a very competitive market," said Otsuka. "As a late comer, it is not an easy market."

Seven Eleven (China) Co, a unit of Japan's Seven & I Holdings Co, operates 75 stores in Beijing and runs 512 outlets in Guangzhou with Hong Kong's Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd.


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