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Taiwan chain sees 7-11 stores in Shanghai soon

TAIWAN-BASED President Chain Store Corp said it plans to open four to six 7-Eleven stores in Shanghai at the end of next month or the beginning of April.

This would be the first time for the world's largest convenience store franchise chain, 7-Eleven, to tap the Shanghai market, raising the already keen market competition with Japan's Lawson and domestic players such as Kedi and Alldays.

President Chain will locate the 7-Eleven stores in Shanghai's major business areas as it targets high-end consumers. The firm plans to open 100 7-Eleven outlets in Shanghai within three years, and will use the city as a stepping stone to expand into the east China region.

Overseas retailers have been keen to enter China as economic development boost consumer purchasing power and boosted the growth of convenience stores rapidly nationwide.

But analysts warned 7-Eleven will face little room in the mature Shanghai market where there are more than 4,000 outlets, which is dominated by Kedi, Alldays and Lawson.

"It is hard for 7-Eleven to expand the network in a short period although there might be some business opportunities in new properties," said Pei Liang, secretary general of China Chain Store and Franchise Association. "Without economies of scale, its pricing and sourcing advantages would be limited."

President Chain, a subsidiary of Taiwan Uni-President, won the franchise from 7-Eleven China to operate the brand in Shanghai in May last year. It runs nearly 4,800 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan. It also owns the rights of Starbucks and Mister Donut in Taiwan and Chinese mainland.

The United States-based 7-Eleven has teamed up with the Japanese rights owner to open stores in Beijing and with the Hong Kong franchisee to tap Guangzhou and Shenzhen.


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