Photo: REUTERS file
business

FamilyMart to allow shorter operating hours policy across Japan

38 Comments

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

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
Login to comment

Convenience store operator FamilyMart Co said Thursday it will allow its franchise owners across Japan to shorten operating hours from March in a bid to address a severe labor shortage during late-night hours.

Under the new policy covering nearly 16,000 stores, franchise owners can shut down part of or throughout the window between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. if they notify the headquarters of their wish in advance.

"It is up to each of our franchise owners to make a decision" to end the 24-hour operations, FamilyMart President Takashi Sawada said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Ok, labour shortage, easily solved by raising the wages. But then the owners of the franchises would lose money so, never going to happen.

"IF" they notify the the HQ? It's up to the individual owners, but I suppose as being a franchise, there are rules, yet this sounds like a ploy by the HQ to give them a chance to pressure the owners to NOT close.

Store owners who want to cut operating hours can also choose to do it every day or only on Sundays, the company said.

Wait? They can close if they want to, but now the only choice is "everyday" or only on "Sundays?"

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I didn't know Lawsons were allowed to close. Anyway, good to see common sense coming in. Seven-Eleven should do the same.

I don't know the economics of a conbini, but it sounds a bit sneaky raising the stay open bonus at the same time. If its a big chunk of franchisee income, they will still be forced to stay open.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Meanwhile, FamilyMart will raise its monthly incentive to 120,000 yen from 100,000 yen for stores that keep their around-the-clock operation.

Yep. This will surely solve the problem. Give the stores an extra ¥20,000 per month to stay open for 24 hours. That's would equate to roughly ¥95 per hour not to close.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

JJ JetplaneToday  07:35 am JST

Meanwhile, FamilyMart will raise its monthly incentive to 120,000 yen from 100,000 yen for stores that keep their around-the-clock operation.

Yep. This will surely solve the problem. Give the stores an extra ¥20,000 per month to stay open for 24 hours. That's would equate to roughly ¥95 per hour not to close

If you assume 30 days a month and 2 staff working 8 hours nightly between 2300-0700, then you could increase the wages of those staff by 250 yen per hour for each of those hours worked. Using a standard 40 hour week, that's an extra 40,000 yen per month.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Labour shortage and low profits are both related to too many stores.

How did we manage 20 years ago when there half as many stores and we had to walk 5 - 10 minutes to a store?

Oh those were medieval times.

Thankfully there are now 11 stores within a 200 meter radius of where I live and over 25 within 400 meter radius. Ridiculously too many to be all open after midnight.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@inspectorGadget

Nice name. Brings back memories.

But I don't get your math. From what I'm reading, the headquarters are willing to give the stores and extra ¥20,000 per month. There is no way an extra ¥20,000 can turn into an extra ¥40,000 in wages. Also, if they employ someone then it would futher detract from that extra ¥20,000.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well I’m glad to see that they’re doing this. I didn’t know that the problem was this pervasive. But if they really have too many stores like this, then yeah, common sense is finally being realized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good on you Family Mart. I remember a time during my childhood where there were only a handful on convenience stores and fast food restaurants that run 24 hours a day but then again, life was slower back then.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

franchise owners can shut down part of or throughout the window between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. if they notify the headquarters of their wish in advance.

"It is up to each of our franchise owners to make a decision"

A little bit of common sense...finally.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is no such thing as a labor shortage in Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There is no such thing as a labor shortage in Japan.

People keep saying this but where are the stats? I'll happily believe you with some evidence

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good news. Working such late hours is very bad for your health as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is a bad idea for smaller cities and towns, especially with those who work in the medical profession and no place to buy open or late night truck drivers, taxi and ordinary people. I know my neighbor is a foreigner with a working VISA, speaks, writes and reads Japanese fluently but was not hired by Family Mart or Lawsons because he wasn't Japanese enough. hmmm. Seven 11 hire him instead with no issues. He works the night shift. This is not the first case of the so called labor shortage. There are many foreigners who are willing to take these low waged jobs vs the other type of jobs but are not hired simply because not being Japanese enough. I wonder if I myself am Japanese enough and I'm Japanese 100%.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What will I do when I want my 2am FamiChiki and beer?

In all seriousness though. A 7am opening (especially in Tokyo) would be a very late opening considering the number of people who are already commuting to work before that time and would be wanting to go into a Conbini for something to eat for breakfast/lunch.

I could understand though if Conbinis in more rural areas would want to close overnight though. And I'd say closing hours of 1am - 4/5am in line with the train operating hours would be suitable for a major city like Tokyo.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

rgcivilian1

...my neighbor is a foreigner with a working VISA, speaks, writes and reads Japanese fluently but was not hired by Family Mart or Lawsons because he wasn't Japanese enough.

With such a language skill set & visa, seems like the guy should be aiming higher than the graveyard shift at the local combini.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

ridiculous.. what if i need smokes at night

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

People keep saying this but where are the stats? I'll happily believe you with some evidence

I'll do a bet with you. Make the wages ¥3000 per hour, and I bet all the positions are filled within a day.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'll do a bet with you. Make the wages ¥3000 per hour, and I bet all the positions are filled within a day.

¥3000/hour for a combini worker?

that’s more than Toyota pay for overtime. ¥1000 is low, ¥1500 would be more reasonable

2 ( +2 / -0 )

exactly, there is absolutely no shortage of workers in Japan, but there is a HUGE problem with wages/ taxes system .. basically unless you are paid certain amount , it doesnt make sense to work regularly.

force minimal wage up to 1600Y an hour , stop the "trainee" program and force clear tax / reporting for all employees., and you will see how happy people will be... obviously it aint happening because the large companies make their buck using cheap foreign labour ...and they pay the politicians.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

that’s more than Toyota pay for overtime. 

Says a lot about Toyota, doesn't it?!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Says a lot about Toyota, doesn't it?!

No, it doesn’t.

Do you live in Japan, or do you just speak randomly?

The other major car manufacturers do not pay that much for overtime.

Overpaying combini workers is not going to solve the problem, because that would lead to an increase in overall wages and would drive up the cost of living, which would eventually offset the pay rise.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Alex Einz

ridiculous.. what if i need smokes at night

Then you should have planned ahead.

Business owners shouldn't be forced to lose money because it might slightly inconvenience a small number of people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

not sure where you going with it, if the business is specifically named convenience store , it should provide me with anything i want 24/7 /366 days a year , rain,snow or storm.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

especially smokes, booze and porn mags

1 ( +3 / -2 )

if the business is specifically named convenience store , it should provide me with anything i want 24/7 /366 days a year , rain,snow or storm.

How do you interpret a marriage of convenience then?

It may come to the point where they raid the elderly home and push grandpa in his wheelchair behind the register at 11 pm and as he will sleep until morning and just put a can for money in front of him. But seriously, the stores could be reconfigured to reduce some services and products at night and just have automated registers and you have to show id or be a member to get in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Man gas stands close at 8pm so if you need to fill up you go before then.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

We can all agree that not all convenience stores being 24 hours are necessary. I live in a residential areas. Families are normally in by 10. The streets are empty at those times. I've had a few nights that I have gone to the convenience store late at night but simply because it was open. The store was a ghost town. Many of these stores don't need to be 24 hours. Maybe when some of them close for the night, they can find ways that people can work shifts at other stores to help with the labor issues.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JJ JetplaneToday  08:27 am JST

@inspectorGadget

Nice name. Brings back memories.

But I don't get your math. From what I'm reading, the headquarters are willing to give the stores and extra ¥20,000 per month. There is no way an extra ¥20,000 can turn into an extra ¥40,000 in wages. Also, if they employ someone then it would futher detract from that extra ¥20,000.

Yup. An extra ¥20,000 yen on top of the ¥100,000 they're already giving them to subsidize 24 hour operations. The assumption I made was that the full ¥120,000 was going to the graveyard shift employees.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bring back the beer vending machines and we will be fine.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Vending machine are a good idea. Order on a panel at the door and a robot will pass the goods through a window after you pay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bring back the beer vending machines and we will be fine.

They didn't go away. We have plenty in my location but like the tobacco machines they shut down at 11pm.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is no such thing as a labor shortage in Japan.

There are No labor shortages, there are enough people as well as students, both domestic and international that would work the hours for a decent livable wage. This is not rocket science, it’s a problem that is easy solvable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Minimum wage needs to be ¥1500 plus additions for Tokyo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

a severe labor shortage

There are No labor shortages, there are enough people as well as students, both domestic and international that would work the hours for a decent livable wage. This is not rocket science, it’s a problem that is easy solvable.

Family Mart and Ministop seem to have solved the problem of not being able to find Japanese workers - virtually all the clerks at the Family Marts or Ministops in my area are from Nepal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I used to liked how the FM near my old apartment used to close at 11 PM, even though it was at a moderately busy station in Nagoya. The locals in the area seemed to function reasonably well without it running 24/7. The area was free from loitering, litter, and delinquents at night, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The answer is automation. I saw an Amazon convenience store in Chicago with no clerks and no register.

Scanning tech, chipped products with automated payment through an app do it all. The door is locked all items carried by the customer aren't scanned and paid for.

I'm surprised Japan isn't at the forefront of this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I work in combini in a night shift .well It Will not be a problem for a worker if it closed the store.They need workers for arranging and cleaning the items

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Didn't the original 7-11 mean it was open from 7am to 11pm?

Or did it mean open 7 days a week for 11 hours each day?

ii kiibuuun

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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