Convenience store giant: open 70,000 stores in 1975

In 75 years, 70,000 stores and 7-ELEVEn convenience stores in more than 200 countries and regions are believed to have been consumed by everyone. World-renowned convenience store brands can be seen everywhere in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

70,000 stores in 1975

Many people know that it entered China from Japan, and 7-ELEVEn is the most profitable project under the Japanese Ito Yokado Corporation. But few people know that the birth of the 7-ELEVEn brand originated in the United States and only came to Japan in 1974.

At present, 7-ELEVEn convenience stores have their own stores in many major cities in my country. 7-ELEVEn can be seen in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Chongqing, and Macau.

Some people say that a convenience store is an urban version of a late-night canteen. This place of more than ten square meters can accommodate loneliness.

7-ELEVEn was born in the United States and “sold” to Japan

The original 7-ELEVEn came from American Southern Company, which was the predecessor of 7-ELEVEn. At that time, the company’s business was mainly retailing ice cubes, milk and eggs. In 1946, the Southern Company extended its business hours from 7 am to 11 pm, and “7-ELEVEn” was born.

The first 7-ELEVEn convenience store opened by Ito Yokado in Japan was authorized by the Southern Company. In 1973, the two parties signed a regional franchise agreement, Japan’s first 7-ELEVEn store officially opened, and it became a chain of convenience stores.

No one thought that the diversified expansion of American Southern Company failed and filed for bankruptcy three years later. Japan’s Ito Yokado backhandedly purchased 73% of Southern Company’s shares and became the largest shareholder of American Southern Company.

This world has never lacked stories of counterattacks.

Behind the Ito Yokado Company is a big hand supported by Toshifumi Suzuki, the owner of the 7-ELEVEn convenience store.

The head of 7-ELEVEn: abandoning wage earners, once accused of “external layman”

In 1956, after graduating from Chuo University in Japan, Suzuki Toshifumi went to Tokyo Publishing Company. At that time, he was just a small employee, mainly in charge of market research. This job forced him to contact and communicate with various business people.

Suzuki said: “My work usually requires meeting with various celebrities. The more I communicate with celebrities, the more I feel that my current job is very small.” A strong sense of humbleness began to occupy Suzuki’s heart, empty work and lack of expectations for the future , Prompting Suzuki Toshifumi to leave Dongfan.

In 1963, Toshifumi Suzuki quit his job and joined Ito Yokado. At that time, Ito Yokado was of a very average size, except for two buildings similar to ordinary houses, there were only four stores.

“Joining Ito Yokado is purely accidental.” Suzuki Toshifumi once said in an interview: “At the time, I was planning a TV show with a writer friend and I wanted to find a sponsor to sponsor the show. It happened that my friend introduced Ito Yokado. After Ito Yokado’s related parties negotiated, they agreed to sponsor, but the condition was that I must join the company. However, after I joined the company, the sponsorship failed, and I knew I was fooled. However, my pride did not allow me to resign, let’s be honest. I started working in Ito Yokado with a heart of patience.”

If he comes, he will be at ease. This year, he is 30 years old.

At that time, large supermarkets were developing in full swing in Japan, and small shops were very sluggish, and the development space was squeezed. However, he had to go against the trend and build small shops. Suzuki Toshifumi was once satirized as a daydreaming “outside man.”!

In order to seek a breakthrough, Toshifumi Suzuki went to the United States for inspection, negotiated cooperation with the Southern Company of the United States, and signed a franchise agreement. In May 1974, Japan’s first 7-Eleven and Japan’s first convenience store opened in Tokyo.

Suzuki Toshifumi believes that large supermarkets and small convenience stores can coexist peacefully and meet different consumer needs.

Today, 7-Eleven’s revenue accounts for 1.25% of Japan’s GDP. Convenience stores such as 7-Eleven have an area of ​​60-200 square meters and are open 24 hours a year around the world, with a total of more than 70,000. 7-11 dominates.

From being accused of “outsiders” to leading 7-Eleven’s globalization, a “going astray” wage earner, willing to give up wage earners, has become a typical counter-attack story.

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