FamilyMart Formulating More Famima!!

Japanese c-store giant "exclaims" further international expansion, including in U.S.

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

Famima convenience store (CSP Daily News)

TOKYO -- Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart has announced plans to expand at a faster pace this year at home and abroad, including in the United States.

Thailand will serve as a regional hub and key growth engine, The Bangkok Post reported recently.

The Tokyo-based company will spend at least 90 billion yen ($881 million U.S.) to add and improve stores in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and the United States, said the report.

Masaaki Kosaka managing director of FamilyMart Co, said the goal is to open 1,500 new stores in Japan this year. That figure, a 16% rise from 2013, will bring the total to 11,745 stores in Japan by year end.

Internationally, the company plans to add 1,000 new stores: 300 in Thailand, between 200 and 300 in China, 80 in Vietnam and the rest in other countries. Once complete, the expansion will raise the number of overseas FamilyMart stores to 14,017. As of year-end 2013, Thailand had 1,048 FamilyMart stores, making it the fifth-biggest market for the chain in terms of store numbers after Japan (10,245), South Korea (7,923), Taiwan (2,903) and China (1,064).

FamilyMart operates nine Famima!! c-stores in the United States, in and around Los Angeles. Philip Hockwald, spokesperson for Torrance, Calf.-based Famima Corp., confirmed for CSP Daily News that FamilyMart is planning U.S. expansion though Famima!!, but would not offer additional details.

The first U.S. Famima! store opened in 2005. The chain's product lineup focuses on fast-food items, ready-to-eat products and health sandwiches. The stores feature "characteristically Japanese high-quality products, services and hospitality," the company said on its website. "We aim to meet the expectations of our fashion-conscious customers in the local area."

Click here to read the full Bangkok Post report.