Can Japan become even more convenient?

Good morning everyone,

Yesterday was pretty nice, as far as rainy season goes. I know. I know. It was hot and humid, but at least it didn't rain. It's pretty dreary looking outside at the moment, but they aren't calling for rain today. Tomorrow and Thursday are supposed to rain and then Friday and the weekend are looking nice!

Japan has a lot of great points-it's safe, it enjoys a high standard of living, the food is good, and it's really convenient to live in. One of the things that makes it so convenient are the convenience stores (hence the name, I suppose...ha ha!). Could you imagine anything that would make the stores more convenient? I can't...

But the marketers at the major convenience store chains can! Did you know that there are already over 50,000 convenience stores in Japan. 50,000! That's unbelievable! It makes life great for us, it's so...well...convenient...ha ha! However, those companies have pretty much saturated the market. There are few profitable areas left to build new stores, but in the business world, it's either grow or die. You can't just maintain the status quo or some other company will come up with something newer or better...

And that is what they are doing. Starting last year, convenience stores began selling take out coffee and it's been a huge hit! Before last year, you'd never see Japanese people walking down the street drinking a coffee, now I see it all the time! It almost feels like I'm back home! And that success has led the companies to think of other ways to help us spend our money! ha ha!

Sunkus is now designing hybrid stores with cafes inside that sell meals and have seating as well, so people can eat-in.
sunkus.jpg

Family Mart is now opening up mini-convenience stores inside karaoke boxes so that people can take the things they buy into karaoke with them, as well as the hybrid stores with cafes.
family mart

And to think that I used to feel guilty about sneaking food and beer into karaoke! Now they are encouraging it! Lawson is introducing convenience stores with pharmacies in them and 7/11 is taking over the management of those ubiquitous Kiosks we see at JR stations.

I know I'll be happy to see a pharmacy in the nearby Lawson-I was always annoyed that I couldn't get cold medicine at the local convenience store like we can back home! I'm not sure I'll take advantage of the café idea...for me, part of the reason of eating out is to enjoy the atmosphere of the café or restaurant. I can't imagine Sunkus coming up with anything that'll entice me to have a coffee or lunch inside...but who knows? Maybe they will...

How about you? Can you think of anything that you wish you could get at the local convenience store? Don't worry! You'll probably be able to do it soon! ha ha!

Have a great day!

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