A 7-Eleven store in Tokyo. Photo: AFP
Seven & i Holdings, which operates Japan's biggest convenience store chain 7-Eleven, will open its first outlet in Ho Chi Minh City in 2017, Japanese media reported on Thursday.
The company's US subsidiary has reportedly signed a license agreement with Seven System Vietnam, a new firm founded by a Vietnamese restaurant chain.
Although the US subsidiary manages most overseas 7-Eleven stores, Seven & i Holdings plans to apply its home business model in Vietnam, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Japanese employees will be dispatched to help local staff develop products like lunch and prepared foods, choose store locations, and develop a distribution network allowing products to be shipped at optimal temperatures, the report said.
Seven & i Holdings was quoted as saying in Kyodo News that it planned to open 100 stores within three years after the first one's opening, and expand the number to 1,000 in 10 years.
Before Vietnam, the company, which operates about 38,000 7-Eleven outlets outside Japan, has opened stores in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
In Vietnam, which has the population of 92.5 million, convenience stores are mostly present in its southern hub with about 400, Nikkei Asian Review reported.
About 22 percent of the stores were operated by two Japanese chains FamilyMart and Ministop, both of which have been struggling since their opening here.
When it came to Vietnam in 2010, FamilyMart claimed that it would open 300 stores in collaboration with local distributor Phu Thai Group.
However, the partnership ended in 2013, with the distributor taking over 42 FamilyMart stores and turning them into B's Mart in collaboration with Thailand's Beri Jucker Plc.
The Japanese chain, meanwhile, continued its operation with 71 stores as of February end.
A similar situation happened with Ministop, which came to Vietnam in partnership with Vietnam's G7 Group in 2011 and planned to open 500 stores in five years.
Their partnership ended early this year, when only 17 stores were opened. Ministop then turned to cooperate with Japanese-owned Sojitz Corporation.