Photo: SoraNews24
business

7-Eleven building store in parking lot of another 7-Eleven amid dispute

16 Comments

For almost all of 2019, a lone 7-Eleven franchisee in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, made national headlines after it challenged the corporate policy of staying open 24 hours a day. Citing lack of staff as the reason, the owner Mitoshi Matsumoto took it upon himself to close overnight.

In response, on Dec 31, 2019, the company ended their contract with Matsumoto claiming that they had received complaints about the way he treated customers. Normally, this would mean the shop would close, but Matsumoto surprised everyone by continuing to run the store for a few weeks after.

After speaking with the owner, he told us he would not accept the termination of the contract until a court ruled on it. So, he kept the store running with a skeleton crew and without any 7-Eleven amenities like an official cash register, ATM, or prepaid cards, until all of the stock was sold off.

Afterward, the store stood vacant for most of 2020, with a sign in the window that read: “Closed due to legal battle, and COVID-19.”

The head office apparently was growing impatient and issued an ultimatum to Matsumoto that if he did not surrender ownership of the store by 29 March, they would build another “temporary” shop in the parking lot of the existing one.

The courts attempted to intervene, fearing the situation might escalate, but Matsumoto said he would never give up because it would appear as if 7-Eleven was in the right. So a few days later, on April 1, construction began on a 7-Eleven in the parking lot of another 7-Eleven.

▼ The 7-Eleven on Jan 4, 2020

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▼ The 7-Eleven on April 2, 2021

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One of the benefits of this store is that it has a relatively spacious parking lot, big enough to accommodate another building. In fact, it was reported that some of the supposed conflicts between Matsumoto and customers was over misuse of the ample parking.

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This land itself is rented from a third party by 7-Eleven, whereas the old building is still technically owned by Matsumoto, until the courts or he decides otherwise. This means that the company had to pay rent on an unusable lot for over a year now, but also has the right to use the space outside of the store however they see fit.

▼ Construction wall of the new 7-Eleven in front of the old 7-Eleven

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In the past, Matsumoto’s outspoken nature tended to cast him in an unfavorable light in the Japanese media. However, this recent development seems to have swayed public opinion slightly in his favor.

“I still think this is the owner’s fault, but 7-Eleven is really making themselves look bad here.”

“This is why I can’t use 7-Eleven.”

“I don’t feel good about this.”

“The company is paying for the land, so they should be able to use it.”

“This owner is kind of a jerk, isn’t he?”

“I stopped trusting 7-Eleven after they constantly lied about their packaging.”

“I think both sides are wrong here.”

“7-Eleven collect the highest royalties from franchise holders out of any conveniences store chain. They make it hard for them to operate.”

“What the hell is going on there?”

Matsumoto was interviewed by NHK on the day construction began and told them he strongly disapproved of the construction, but said he had to focus on his ongoing legal battle and couldn’t do anything about it.

▼ Paper sign: ”Seven headquarters, please stop the improper use of force!”

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Local residents have mixed feelings about the situation. Many find this new development bizarre and a nuisance, but some are happy they can finally have an operating convenience store in the area again.

The new structure is expected to be complete by the end of April, and we’ll be sure to check it out when it opens. Because regardless of who is right or wrong in this situation, it is definitely going to be weird.

Source: NHK

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Inside the rogue 7-Eleven, a convenience store completely cut off by its company

-- 7-Eleven Japan’s “Paper Tiger” sandwich sparks online controversy over deceptive packaging

-- 7-Eleven teams up with Attack on Titan to bring you new video short, prizes galore!

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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Seven & i Holdings is really being a dick about this.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Maybe the meaning has changed but didn't 7-11 mean they were open from seven to eleven? The guy seems to have had a valid reason to close but the corporation is being prickly. Hard to find a Japanese person who will act against management so I agree with and salute this guy.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Either drive the guy into bankruptcy or make up stories about his service, but putting up a wall and another building is just childish...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A friend of mine used to run a Daily store out in the countryside. She decided to cancel her contract, but the company never came to remove their sign, so she continues to run it as a Daily store royalty-free with stock sourced from megaretailers like Costco.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

So court is not doing justice after mor ethan a year. Faulty system ? Seems so. The article should be pointing at it.

If the guy gets nuts, set fire or go on a rampage, we'd know why and who's fault it is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Convince stores must stay open 24 hours, have toilets and basic daily products. Otherwise no license. No business. Period.

There was an earthquake today, another yesterday. I guess people forgot already about the dead 28,000.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

A storm in a 7-Eleven teacup.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have always heard that being a franchisee is a bad deal. You work your butt off and all the goodwill goes to the franchise unlike if you open your own business.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

7-eception?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think its not a reasonable decision of the perfecture to allow the new construction in those terms and conditions, they should have wait for the legal outcome. It's also an urbanism and architecture department very bad decision for the city quality of life.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Seven Holdings needs to rethink their brand after this. The people who are responsible for this are not doing them any favors. Typical short-sighted, cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face, gotta-have-the-last-word one upmanship.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Downvoted for trying to suggest in a natural disaster people should meet in a place that has essential supplies? Good luck guys, tomorrow.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Perhaps it should be up to the Franchisee to determine their hours - 7-11 being the basic 2 shift model, but perhaps others staying open later can be called 7-11+ ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No 'iiki bun' here? A good story highlighting Human rationality and co-operativity. And what story of Human pathology would be complete without Corporate? If you've ever seen the anime short film "Godzilla meets Bambi", you'll get that same sense here. And, of course, the victim is made to seem the fool...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you buy a franchise, you go by the franchise rules. That's what you are buying. Consistency of service and product is paramount to a franchise operator and to customers.

On the other hand, it's surprising how little franchise owners of Japanese convenience stores make. you won't get rich owning a konbini franchise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The franchisee was terrible, had the most complaints of any store, and his employees quit so often he couldn’t stay open 24 hours. He was the problem.

7-11 owns the store and the land, so they took action.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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