multi.trudi :: tokyo 2003 city guide and research of cultural phenomena
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Convenience Stores Tokyo 2003

Basic needs are served by these 24h 7 days a week outlets, which are on nearly every second block. They even have hot food all around the clock! I think they are the utmost example of both standardization and gratification of customers' wishes. Must be Toyko if you see four different ones on each corner of a street crossing.

am pm shop nezu
mini stop conbini in Yoyogi lawson 24h on omote sando
Ministop chain. Not that common. Here: Yoyogi.
There's even a Lawson on Omote Sando, one of the most expensive streets in Tokyo.
sunkus yoyogi station am pm conbini in Sendagaya
Sunkus chain. JR Yoyogi station.
The ubiquos am pm chain. Sendagaya. I don't know why I encountered so many am pms.
Becker's hamburger shop Beck's coffee shop
Not exactly a super market but also serving daily needs. I like the name, guess why.
Beck's coffee shop. How did they come to use my name? This one Shinagawa station.
More info:

According to the Japan Franchise Association, there were 43 companies operating convenience store chains in Japan in fiscal 2001 (April 2001-March 2002), and their 40,844 outlets registered combined sales of more than ¥7.1 trillion. (Foreign Press Center / Japan)

There are, however, some problems in the convenience store industry, most notably the high incidence of robbery. As the stores are open 24 hours a day and have only a few part-time workers late at night, they are often targeted for robbery. According to National Police Agency statistics, there were 376 robberies of convenience stores and supermarkets open after 10:00 p.m. in the first half of 2003, an increase of about 70% over the year before. Nearly 10% of all robberies now take place at convenience stores.(Foreign Press Center / Japan)

The number of 24-hour convenience stores being the target of robbery has increased two-fold in a year, according to statistics released by the Okinawa Prefecture Police. The main reason is the proliferation in the number of such stores. (

One recent trend is for convenience stores to join forces with companies in other sectors. More and more gas stations, video rental stores, and others are teaming up with konbini operators to add a convenience store to their outlets. These firms are keen to take advantage of the ability of 24-hour convenience stores to attract customers.
Another manifestation of this trend was the opening in August of the first combined post office/convenience store in the Tokyo district of Yoyogi as a result of a tie-up between major konbini operator Lawson and Japan Post. The outlet is open 24 hours a day and enables customers to complete such tasks as buying stamps and sending parcels even after the usual post office closing time of 5:00 pm. In the daytime, the store allows people waiting for their turn at the post office to pass their time by listening to the latest CDs or reading electronic books. August also saw the opening of the second such outlet inside the Aobadai Post Office in Yokohama.(

Lawson company +++ AM PM company +++

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