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Seven-Eleven illegally threatened store holders over discounts, court finds

21 Comments

Seven-Eleven Japan has been fined for decreeing that franchise holders may not reduce prices in their stores.

The Fair Trade Commission investigated Seven-Eleven Japan Co in 2009 after it was reported that the chain had forbidden franchise stores from discounting sales of boxed "bento" lunches and other food products approaching their expiry dates, a move which infringed upon franchise legislation that was updated in 2002.

On Friday, four franchise holders who claimed they were obliged not to mark down goods in their stores won their case at the Tokyo High Court, Sankei Shimbun reported Saturday.

The presiding judge ruled that Seven-Eleven was in breach of franchise legislation when it threatened to withdraw operating licenses from the owners if they continued to discount their goods. As a result of the finding, the company will be required to pay compensation to the four franchise holders totaling 11.4 million yen.

© Japan Today

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21 Comments
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Congratulations Japantoday for reporting this. This is such a big story and it is not reported on the mainstream news. I wonder why . I was first aware of this story in a very leftist magazine that did not accept advertisements.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I love it when supermarkets and places in stations mark down their stuff in the evenings, so I can definitely understand why 7/11 owners would want to do the same thing, way to go! :)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is such a big story and it is not reported on the mainstream news. I wonder why

not big enough because similar practice was adapted by FamilyMart in recent past.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm just thinking that it is not in the mainstream news, because the Japanese TV stations depend on 7 and I holdings advertising revenues. Or am I way off?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Canadaman,

You're spot on. Since the internet, traditional media have been haemorrhaging ad revenue big time.

With the 'self-regulation' of the press clubs and advertisers, they're no better than the shopping channel.

Thanks, JT, and happy viewing, minasama!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Hopefully marking down bentos can help reduce the shocking amount of good food wasted every day in Japan.

14 ( +13 / -0 )

As others have noted, stories are not reported in mainstream due to the press club system. This dumbs down the population. Thank you JT for doing what you do. This is a very interesting story.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

711 not happay they wanted the food returned to the main center so they could relabel the expiry date and ship it out again, this has severely affected their standard operating procedure which many food enterprises undertake here.

They firmly believe that the Food is fine it just simply has the wrong expriy date so lets rectify that by relabeling it.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

StormR - that's utter nonsense based on no evidence whatsoever.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Canadaman - Congratulations Japantoday for reporting this. This is such a big story and it is not reported on the mainstream news. I wonder why . I was first aware of this story in a very leftist magazine that did not accept advertisements.

The article quotes Sankei Shinbun as a reference. I just found articles about this 711 High Court decision topic in Mainichi ,Yomiuri, and Asahi online shinbuns. Exactly what are the mainstream news outlets which supposedly did not report this?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They just assume that it was not reported. They don't know at all... Just blabbing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remember hearing about this story at the time. Why did it take 4 years for them to be proven guilty? I'm sure there are a lot of companies doing this. My local Mr. Donuts used to sell all donuts for 100 yen before closing at night but suddenly stopped doing it. I wonder if they were under some kind of pressure...

SunnyMorning:

Hopefully marking down bentos can help reduce the shocking amount of good food wasted every day in Japan.

I know what you mean. People that have worked in the hotel business always tell me how they throw out perfectly good expensive cakes even if they were never served! And I know someone that used to work at a bento company and he said they never let employees take home bentos that weren't bought. They throw out every single one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok... what about the other 14,500 stores? 7-11 Japan should compensate them too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

7/11 was stupid to even avoid doing this! Nobody wants to pay full price for something about to expire..it seems they would rather risk not making money at all and throwing the product away then to discount it before it expires to make some money off of it? wow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ADK99

StormR - that's utter nonsense based on no evidence whatsoever.

It was tongue in cheek, sarcasim ever heard of it ADK99?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This just make thinking that these bentos have a really low cost with huge margin and are of crappy quality and 7/11 prefers to keep its virtual equity than discounting the soon expired products.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A win for the consumer and less things that are being thrown away. People on minimum wage (or worse) can rejoice with the opportunity for cheap food.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They firmly believe that the Food is fine it just simply has the wrong expriy date so lets rectify that by relabeling it.

StormR - that's utter nonsense based on no evidence whatsoever

Actually, it isn't totally utter nonsense. I've no idea on what scale it goes on here, but I know from first hand experience at one local supermarket when some expensive cuts of steak remain unsold (despite being given a 30% discount) past their sell-by date, they were put back in the refrigerator, routinely sprayed with water the next day, re-labelled with a new sell-by date and put back on sale for another day. There must be at least a fair chance that this isn't the only food-selling establishment in Japan carrying out such practices.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

great news and all of the discussion is right on the money here. Very good that people are being brave and sharing the facts about these illegal and deceptive tactics and that the chains are being made to be fair and honest. I hate the way meat is dusguised to sell, it if is not bought that is their risk..and we the consumer should not be cheated. That is how health events happen where people are poisioned and made ill. Time for truth to spread. good work Japan Today!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SunnyMorning san (Aug. 31, 2013 - 05:20PM JST) A great comment! The cheaper Bento for the poor! Why not! The concept of throwing away usually doesn't bother the corporate; they are only after money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More info on wasted food in Japan, and a lot has to do with expiry dates:

http://2hj.org/english/problem/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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