Major convenience store operator Lawson Inc says that about 100 stores will not open on Jan 1, 2020.
Lawson has about 14,000 stores nationwide.
The decision to close some stores came after Lawson had a meeting with franchise owners this week, Fuji TV reported. Some franchisees said that they haven’t been doing much business on New Year’s Day in past years.
Lawson also said the decision is part of a plan to address the labor shortage that it and other convenience store operators are facing. Lawson has been conducting trials of shorter opening hours at some stores.
Lawson said it is introducing self-checkout systems at all its 14,000 stores. Customers can process their purchases by scanning barcodes themselves with cashier machines which can be used for either self-service or cashier-staffed checkout depending on how busy the stores are.
Only cashless payment methods such as credit cards and digital currency will be accepted at the self-checkout points, the company said.
In August, Lawson experimented with operating two unmanned stores from midnight to 5 a.m.© Japan Today/Kyodo