By D. Marutschke

ISBN-10: 0230355668

ISBN-13: 9780230355668

ISBN-10: 1349345172

ISBN-13: 9781349345175

This e-book discusses non-stop development ideas of jap comfort shop operators. The examine highlights the efforts of businesses working less than lean administration structures to spot new, dynamic, firm-specific features in hugely aggressive markets.

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Extra info for Continuous Improvement Strategies: Japanese Convenience Store Systems

Sample text

Although Japanese CS have smaller sales floor space than US equivalents (usually 100m2 against 162m2 ), they offer more stock-keeping units (3,000 compared to 2,500 in the US) (Yahagi, 1994). , 2003: 32). The product line-up can be divided into four categories consisting of processed foods (such as liquors, seasonings), daily foods (milk, dairy products, bread), fast food (prepared meals, salads) and non-food items (magazines, cosmetics) (Larke, 1994: 152). Despite its high profit margin, fast food and drinks are the most important products, because they are essential to maintain ‘convenience’ as their main competitive advantage, underlying the big success of fast-selling items such as Japanese rice balls (onigiri).

The first CS was opened under the Lawson brand in Osaka in the same year. However, in contrast to It¯ o Y¯ okad¯ o, Daiei did not only adopt the management know-how but also tried to transfer the original product line-up offered in the US to the Japanese market. Only when the management realized that it largely failed to fulfil its initial growth plans in the end of the 1970s were project teams put in place in order to develop a product line-up better adjusted to Japanese consumers needs. Lawson finally succeeded in running profitable stores in 1979 after studying its rivals, implementing necessary firm-internal adjustments and creating an own management system.

But wrong management decisions were also made because they were based on an incomplete manual and because the company had no access to sophisticated know-how, which its rivals Seven–Eleven Japan and Lawson acquired from their respective US business partners (Yamashita, 1995). 6 Despite its initial failure, the early involvement in the CS business provided Seiy¯ u with enough time to develop a sophisticated store operation system and to acquire sufficient strength to compete with Seven–Eleven Japan and Lawson.

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Continuous Improvement Strategies: Japanese Convenience Store Systems by D. Marutschke


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