Photo: REUTERS file
business

Convenience store operators urged to tackle labor shortages

34 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
Login to comment

Just close at 11pm and open in the morning. A nation of vending machines can handle the rest. Done and done.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

But, what do I do if I need a tomago sandwich and a Coke at 3:00 AM.? Very inconsiderate of them :-)

11 ( +12 / -1 )

But, what do I do if I need a tomago sandwich and a Coke at 3:00 AM.? Very inconsiderate of them :-)

There must be a vending machine for that.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hey 7/11, Lawson's, Family Mart, and whomever else, just tell Uncle Abe all your employees will be given the title of manager, so they won't get any overtime. We'll call the new program 'volunteer time within our company-family'.

If that doesn't work, tell Uncle Abe you'll be using his new program, 720 hours OT per year per employee. If this doesn't work well either we'll just pay the extra 300k, it's peanuts.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I am torn because I understand economics, but I don't want to give up my convenience.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just implement self checkout machines. You can one employee per shift to look after everything and maintain the machine, answer questions, etc. This way you could staff and entire store 24 hours with just 3 people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is a very simple solution, offer a decent full-time salary, problem solved!

Every wonder why you dont hear of this from Family Mart? In Tokyo there are Family Marts that pay 2,000 per hour for late night shifts!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

More vending machines, shorter operating hours, and fewer stores. It's inevitable. Increasing pay only increases the number of workers if there is a pool of unemployed to draw from.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Allow Pachinko players to do the shift.

Or any one who wants to have second chance in their life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pay more. Simple as that.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

As above... pay a liveable salary. Automate them more... but what slows down service in the morning and evenings is people paying 5 bills...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It's not the govt's business. Let the stores deal with a problem - which they created for themselves - by themselves.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

pay higher wages and you'll soon get the staff you want.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Since when is it the responsibility of franchisees of convenience stores to tackle labor shortage issues? The best they can do is cut their operating hours. Maybe if the government did their job of governing instead of just making pledges, we wouldn't be in this conundrum.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Higher pay always attracts more employees.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Pay more.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I can not believe there is an economic case for having the stores open in the wee hours of the morning. It has got to cost considerably more than they will take gross let alone make a profit. Raising wages will just make it worse.

The only real solution is to close when it is not profitable to be open.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just close 50% of the stores after 10PM and reopen them at 6AM. That would be a 16.6% reduction in labor.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Simple... pay more!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The labor shortage is only a big problem in rural areas. There is limited public transport for younger workers and there are very few younger people living in rural areas. The convenience stores in he cities are fine and can continue to open 24/7. However, there must be some compromises made for the rural areas.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If it’s not open 24 hours shut it down. People can go to a supermarket during normal hours. Especially in the countryside, combinis give safety to the community, jobs for elderly or students and rest for drivers who have to travel across the country. Not open, close them down!And in the city, one every 150 meters is a joke.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Just close 50% of the stores after 10PM and reopen them at 6AM. That would be a 16.6% reduction in labor.

Just when everyone who has worked hard all day needs to shop there for food/drinks? Wrong answer. I hope these conbinis formulate a good plan to gauarantee the service stays open 24hrs. Seko-sensei is correct. In a nation of workaholics, they are vital.

Long term (5-10 years) the answer is investment in robots to be the main staff. Short term, the conbinis should be ordered to stay open for the good of the community. Or the parent companies (ex 7 & i) should pay high penalties and taxes.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Seko is a muppet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When I first came here there we no convenience stores. If you didnt get to the bank by 3PM SOL, no money until the next day! Supermarkets, 8PM, everything shut down.

OMG.....what did you do? How did you live? Guess what, we survived!

Spent more time at home with families, watched stupid Japanese TV, heaven forbid, we TALKED with each other! Or went to bed early!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Convience means conience. 24/7.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

There are probably too many conbini in reality. One of the factors of a franchise model is that it is relatively easy to enter the market but the franchisee takes the risk.

Yes, you can pay more, but many of these combini are on very tight margins. Having to pay a high wage to keep an empty combini open in the middle of the night is not economical. Let them keep the hours that are economical. In some places this may be 6am to 11pm in the week.

Te alternative is having them shut down altogether.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How many of these places have been built that are surplus to needs over the past 10-15 years? There is a ridiculous oversupply, and they attract a noisy element at night that the high school kids and housewives that man the tills night at are in no position to deal with.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You can also thank (sarcasm) conbini for the "fattening" of far too many Japanese kids. Used to be, Mom's made the after school snacks, now kids eat Fami Mart "spicy chicken" or some other high calorie crap, and the kids stop eating school lunches, because to them, they taste bad, not enough fatty oils, and other junk.

Sure convenience stores are great, but is there a need for them to be open 24/7....?

Leave it up to the owner!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan made a good decision by allowing more foreign workers. It will take some time for this positions to be filled and to reflect upon the economy. No big changes will happen overnight.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said the labor shortage issue is causing growing discontent among the franchisees

Why is the government bothering to involve itself in the operations of the convenience store industry? Remember all those mom and pop stores that went out of business over the last 20~30 years? Don’t remember the government saving them from their market competition issues. If Lawson and 7-Eleven can’t work out the problems with their business model let the local independent stores come back and replace them. If their is enough demand for an onigiri and chu-hi at 3:30am someone will figure out how to make it work.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan made a good decision by allowing more foreign workers.

More like cultural suicide. I would rather nations be careful with their immigration policies instead of every nation eventually becoming a homogeneous bore.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would love to live in Japan and work at any of your7-11 convinience store in Japan! I visited Tokyo many times already and love it there. People in Japan are so polite and very friendly and it is very safe place to live also. We have 7-11 here in Hawaii and I like it there. It is so hard to believe you have a shortage of workers there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The industry minister has urged operators of Japan's eight major convenience store chains to formulate action plans to address severe labor shortages..." Government inaction. Isn't this the job description of the industry minister or someone at the department of labor, not the private sector?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Have you given thoughts what an increase in pay would do? 1. Increase in prices of the products. 2. Have less staff when they go automated, which in turn increase unemployment. 3. Turn Japan more like America, full of crime.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites