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Convenience store

Convenience store
A convenience store is a small store or shop that sells items such as candy, icecream, soft drinks, lottery tickets, newspapers and magazines, along with a selection of processed food and perhaps some groceries. Stores that are part of gas stations may also sell motor oil, windshield washer fluid, radiator fluid, and maps. Often toiletries and other hygiene products are stocked, and some of these stores also offer money orders and wire transfer services or liquor products. They are often located alongside busy roads, in densely-populated urban neighborhoods, at gas/petrol stations or near railway stations or other transportation hubs. In some countries most convenience stores have longer shopping hours, some being open 24 hours, but customers pay for this convenience with higher prices on most goods. Some stores have racks offering fresh delivered or baked doughnuts from local doughnut shops. Some stores have a self-service microwave oven for heating purchased food–in Hong Kong, convenience stores even provide lunch and dinner. In the US, some fast food chains like Chick-fil-a offer a counter in convenience stores. Instead of cooking food in the store, these counters offer a limited menu of items delivered several times a day from a local branch of the restaurant. Convenience stores may be combined with other services, such as a train station ticket counter, post office counter or a petrol pumps. In Asian countries, like Japan or Taiwan, convenience stores are more common because of the higher population density. They are found with gas and train stations, but also can be standalone stores. Some common chains are 7-Eleven and FamilyMart. Here, items like soft drinks or snacks are sold. Hot dogs, sausages, hard boiled tea eggs, and fish cake can be found in stores. Delicatessens are absent, instead pre-made sandwiches can be bought. Non-food products like magazines are also sold, but at a lesser extent.

Various types exist, for example: liquor stores (off-licences–offies), mini-markets (mini-marts) or party stores. Typically junk food (candy, ice-cream, soft drinks), lottery tickets, newspapers and magazines are sold. Unless the outlet is a liquor store, the range of alcohol beverages is likely to be limited (i.e. beer and wine) or non-existent. Most stores carry cigarettes and other tobacco products. Varying degrees of food and grocery supplies are usually available, from household products, to prepackaged foods like sandwiches and frozen burritos. Automobile-related items such as motor oil, maps and car kits may be sold. Often toiletries and other hygiene products are stocked, as well as feminine hygiene and contraception. Some of these stores also offer money orders and wire transfer services. The most common type of foods offered in convenience stores are breakfast sandwiches and other breakfast food. Throughout Europe convenience stores now sell fresh French bread (or similar). A process of freezing partbaked bread allows easy shipment (often from France) and baking in-store. Some stores have a delicatessen counter, offering custom-made sandwiches and baguettes.

Differences from supermarkets
Although larger, newer convenience stores have quite a broad range of items, the selection is still limited compared to supermarkets, and in many stores only 1 or 2 choices are available. Prices in a convenience store are typically, but not always, higher than at a supermarket, mass merchandise store, or auto supply store (with the exception of the goods such as milk, soda and fuel in which convenience stores traditionally do high volume and sometimes use as loss leaders). In the United States, the stores will sometimes be the only stores and services near an interstate highway exit where drivers can buy any kind of food or drink for miles. Most of the profit margin from these stores comes from beer, liquor, and cigarettes. Although those three categories themselves usually


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yield lower margins per item, the amount of sales in these categories generally makes up for it. Profits per item are much higher on deli items (bags of ice, chicken, etc), but sales are generally lower. In some countries most convenience stores have longer shopping hours, some being open 24 hours.

Convenience store
Ultimately, Seven & I Holdings Co., the parent company of 7-Eleven Japan, acquired 7-Eleven (US) from Southland Corporation in 1991. Japanese-styled convenience stores called (ja:????, literally konbini) also heavily influenced those stores in other Asian nations, such as Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and China. Convenience stores rely heavily on the point of sale. Customers’ ages, gender, as well as tomorrow’s weather forecast, are important data. All orders are made on-line. As their store sizes are limited, they have to be very careful in choosing what brands to sell. In many cases, several same-chained stores exist in neighboring areas. This strategy, called dominant, makes distribution to each store cheaper. (ja:???????) It also makes multiple distributions per a day possible. Generally, foods are delivered to each store two to five times a day from factories. Since products are delivered as needed, stores do not need large stock areas. As of 2005, there were 43,667 convenience stores in Japan. [2] Among them, 7-Eleven leads the market with 11,310 stores, followed by Lawson and FamilyMart. Most items available in larger supermarkets can be found in Japanese convenience stores. In addition, the following additional services are also commonly available: • Courier, or postal service. • Photocopying, or fax service. • ATMs. • Utilities and other bills and tax payment service. • Tickets service for concerts, theme parks, airlines etc Some stores also sell charging service for electronic money and ATM services for credit card or consumer finance. Items not commonly sold include: Slurpees, Lottery tickets, Car supplies, and gasoline.

By country
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., which operates Couche-Tard, Provi-Soir, Dépanneur 7, Mac’s Convenience Stores and Beckers Milk, is the largest convenience store chain in Canada. Another large chain is Quickie Mart, which predates the "Kwik-E-Mart" featured on The Simpsons. The world’s largest convenience retailer, 7-Eleven, has about 500 locations from BC to Ontario. Worldwide, the highest number of the chain’s famous Slurpee beverages are sold in Winnipeg, Manitoba; the city is known as the "Slurpee Capital of the World". Marketing itself as "more than just a convenience store," there are over 150 Hasty Market locations throughout Ontario. Convenience stores are also commonly referred to as "corner stores" or "variety stores" in some regions of Canada. In the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec, a convenience store is known as a "dépanneur," or "dep" for short[1]. "Dépanneur" means literally "one who gets you out of a jam".


See also: Mama shop Major convenience stores in Singapore are 7-Eleven owned by Dairy Farm International Holdings and Cheers owned by NTUC Fairprice.[1] Figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed that there are 338 7-Eleven stores and 91 Cheers outlets in 2004.[2] Other convenience stores such as Myshop and One Plus appeared in 1983.

Lawson Shop, Minamisoma, Fukushima Although originated in the United States, convenience stores developed tremendously in Japan. 7-Eleven Japan, while struggling to localize their service in the 1970s to 1980s, evolved its point of sale-based business.


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Myshop belongs to a Japanese company, and One Plus belongs to Emporium Holdings.[3] Various reasons unique to Singapore have been given for the great popularity of convenience stores there. Convenience stores sell a wide range of imported goods, whereas minimarts and provision shops sell local products with a limited range of non-Asian products.[4] Convenience stores are situated within housing estates thus reducing consumers’ traveling time. Most families in Singapore are dual-income families.[5] Since both the husband and wife are working, there is greater need for convenience in shopping for daily necessities. The 24 hour opening policy allows convenience stores to reach out to a larger group of consumers. Firstly, the policy caters to the shopping needs of consumers who work shifts or have irregular working hours.[6] Secondly, the policy caters to the increasing number of Singaporeans who are keeping late nights. It was reported that 54% of Singaporeans stayed up past midnight in an economic review by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) in 2005.[7]

Convenience store
under a franchise agreement with Southland Corporation of the United States.[8] Dairy Farm International Holdings acquired the chain from Jardine Matheson Group in 1989.[9] The number of 7-Eleven outlets continued to increase in 1984 while other chains were having difficulty in expanding. One Plus was unable to expand due to the shortage of good sites. The original owners of the Myshop franchise, which had seven outlets, sold out to one of its suppliers due to a lack of demand.[10] However, in 1985, 7-Eleven faced difficulty in finding favourable locations and failed to meet its one-store-a-month target. The situation improved in 1986 with a new Housing Development Board (HDB) tendering system, which allowed 7-Eleven to secure shops without having to bid too high a price.[11] 7-Eleven stores are open twentyfour hours a day, seven days a week, including Sundays and public holidays.[12] This 24/7 policy was seen as the reason that gave 7-Eleven its edge over its competitors. In 1990, there was a rise in the number of shop thefts in 7-Eleven. The shoplifters were usually teenagers who stole small items such as chocolates, cigarettes and beer.[13] In response to the increase in the number of thefts, 7-Eleven stepped up security measures, which successfully lowered the crime rate by 60%[14]



Notice Pasted at Cheers to deter Robbery Cheers is owned by local corporation NTUC Fairprice, started in 1999.[15] Cheers has adopted 7-Eleven’s 24/7 model and took similar security measures to prevent cases of shop lifting. Convenience store owners seeking franchising seem to prefer Cheers over 7-Eleven, probably due to its cheaper franchise fee.[16]

7-Eleven Under A Block of Apartments 7-Eleven began the trend of convenience stores in Singapore when it opened its first store in 1982 by Jardine Matheson Group,


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Convenience store
offered for sale tend to be similar despite store brand, and almost always include milk, bread, soft drinks, cigarettes, phone cards, coffee, slushees, candy bars, Twinkies, Slim Jims, hot dogs, ice cream, candy, gum, lip balm, chips, pretzels, popcorn, beef jerky, doughnuts, maps, magazines, newspapers, small toys, car supplies, feminine hygiene products, cat food, dog food, and toilet paper. Other less common items include sandwiches, pizza, and frozen foods. Nearly all convenience stores also have an automated teller machine (ATM), though other banking services are usually not available. State lottery tickets are also available at these stores. Some convenience stores in the United States also sell gasoline. Policies regarding the sale of adult magazines vary, but generally larger chains (such as 7-Eleven and Casey’s General Stores) do not sell these items, while smaller independent stores may do so. One notable exception to this "rule" is fastgrowing regional chain Sheetz, which does sell some soft-core pornographic material such as Playboy (including its various "special" issues), Penthouse, and Playgirl. Because the laws regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages vary from state to state in the United States, the availability of beer, wine, and liquor varies greatly. For example, while convenience stores in Alaska, Pennsylvania and New Jersey cannot sell any kind of alcohol at all, stores in Nevada and California may sell alcoholic beverages of any sort, while stores in Virginia, Washington, or Oregon can sell beer and wine, but not liquor. Similar to grocery stores, convenience stores in New York can sell beer only, not wine or liquor. Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz tried to find a loophole in 2007 by classifying part of one of their prototype stores in Altoona as a restaurant, which would permit alcohol sales.[18] However, state courts in Pennsylvania promptly overruled this.[19] Sheetz continues to sell alcohol in other states.


With the highest 7-Eleven outlet density in the world, it is not an unusual scene seeing two 7-Eleven shops stand face to face in a same intersection in Taiwan. The distance between them might be less than 50 meters. Boasting more than 9,100 convenience stores in an area of 35,980 km² and a population of 23 million, Taiwan has Asia Pacific’s and perhaps the world’s highest density of convenience stores per person: one store per 2,500 people or .000397 stores per person (convenience store - Wikipedia, October 2007). With 4,665 7-Eleven stores, Taiwan also has the world’s highest density of 7-Elevens per person: one store per 4,930 people or .000203 stores per person (International Licensing page of 7-Eleven website). In Taipei, it is not unusual to see two 7-Elevens across the street or several of them within a few hundreds of meters of each other. Because they are found everywhere, convenience stores in Taiwan provide services on behalf of financial institutions or government agencies such as collection of city parking fees, utility bills, traffic violation fines, and credit card payments. Eighty percent of urban household shoppers in Taiwan visit a convenience store each week (2005 ACNielsen ShopperTrends).

United States
The first chain convenience store in the United States was opened in Dallas, Texas in 1927 by the Southland Ice Company, which eventually became 7-Eleven, the largest convenience store chain.[17] Circle K, another large company-owned convenience store chain, was founded in 1951. Since that time many different convenience store brands have developed, and their stores may either be corporate-owned or franchises. The items

American convenience stores are often a direct target of armed robbery. In some areas of the United States, it is not uncommon for clerks to work behind a bulletproof glass window, even during daylight hours. Some convenience stores even restrict access inside at night, requiring customers to go to a walk-up window specifically for such situations to


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make purchases. The main dangers are that almost all convenience stores have only one person working the night shift, most of the transactions are in cash, and easily resold merchandise, such as liquor, lottery tickets and cigarettes are on the premises. Most convenience stores have a cash drop slot into a time-delay safe so clerks may limit the amount of cash on hand. Many have installed security cameras to help prevent robberies and shoplifting. Because of their vulnerability to crime, nearly all convenience stores have a friendly relationship with the local police. Some even provide a small police substation in the store, and traditionally provide free coffee to police officers. Police officers often patrol the parking lot of a convenience store, especially after the closing time of bars to apprehend drunk drivers.

Convenience store
its proximity to areas of high crime. For the same reason, in the City of Rochester - "Stop N’ Rob" is a common varient as a play on words for the store, "Stop N’ Go." In the San Antonio region of Texas, a convenience store is commonly referred to as an "icehouse." In the UK, they are referred to as "off-licenses" ("offies" for short - from the legal term for a licence to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises), "corner shops" (from the typical location on a street corner), "newsagents" (from their role in selling newspapers) or, if associated with a petrol station, "the garage". Shops with a greater trend towards groceries or food are more often known by their actual trading name, such as SPAR or Co-Op. In the Hindi-speaking parts of India, they’re called Kiraana shops. Most of them are run by people from the state of Rajasthan.

Regional names
Regional differences in terms exist. In certain parts of the Midwestern United States, locals prefer to use the term party store or corner store. The term party store is said to come from post prohibition times when you could buy liquor or beer again, hence to throw a party. In New York City, independent convenience stores are commonly referred to as a Deli or Bodega. The latter term lately turns up in city newspapers and reflects the influx of Hispanics to the city proper, but would be unrecognized to European-Americans who have moved to the suburbs and would recall terms like "corner store," "the candy store" or "tobacco shop" or commonly the name of whatever the owner of the store would be"Frank’s," "Bernie’s," etc. In New England, a number of regional terms are used to refer to small, independent convenience stores. In Northern New England (e.g. Maine, New Hampshire), some convenience stores bear the name "superette." In the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the term "variety store" is often used. A Massachusetts-specific term (found most often in the Boston area) for a small convenience store is "spa," referring to the once "healthy" bubbly soda-fountain drinks first served around the turn of the 20th century. This term has become less common in recent years but can still be spotted.. In Charlotte, North Carolina a chain convenience store is often referred to as a "stab and grab" due to

Similar concepts
Convenience stores to some extent replaced the old-fashioned general store. They are similar but not identical to Australian milk bars. In Britain, corner shops in towns and village shops in the countryside served similar purposes and were the precursors to the modern European convenience store (e.g. SPAR). In the Canadian province of Quebec, dépanneurs (often referred to as "deps" in English) are often family-owned neighbourhood shops that serve similar purposes. Truck stops, also known as "travel centers" combine a shop offering similar goods to a convenience store with amenities for professional drivers of Semi-trailer trucks. This may include fast food restaurants, showers and facilities for buying large quantities of diesel fuel. The equivalent in Europe is the motorway service station. Neighborhood grocery stores not big enough to be considered a supermarket often compete with convenience stores. For example, in Los Angeles, CA, a local chain operates neighborhood grocery stores that fill a niche between a traditional supermarket and convenience store. Because they stock fresh fruit and fresh meat and carry upwards of 5000 items, they have a lot in common with the supermarket. Due to the relatively small store size, customers can get in and out conveniently, or have purchases delivered.


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Convenience store
November 15). Business Times Singapore." [11] "The 7-Eleven convenience store chain in Singapore, the franchise of which is held by Jardine Matheson, should nearly double its expected rate of opening one new store each month by the end of the year. (1986, November 5). Business Times Singapore." [12] "Loh, Choon-Min James. (1988). The Adoption of A Retailing Innovation in A Newly Industrialising Country: The Modernisation of Local Provision Shops in Singapore. United Kingdom: The British Library, p. 34." [13] "Convenience stores hit regularly by ’grabbers’. (1990, May 4). The Straits Times." [14] "Chain stores’ anti-crime moves pay off with 60% drop in crime rate. (1991, December 1). The Straits Times." [15] "NTUC Link Pte. Ltd. (2005). Cheers. [Online]. Available: merchants/ merchant_subdetail.aspx?id=73" [16] "7-Eleven: Growing and getting closer to you. (2004, June 19). The Straits Times." [17] "7-Eleven world’s largest chain store". Japan News Review. July 12, 2007. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. 5dsuOCKUU. Retrieved on 16 January 2009. [18] Sheetz, Inc. Announces Alcohol Sales in Pennsylvania [19] - Court Rules Against Beer In Convenience Store

See also
• List of convenience stores • National Association of Convenience Stores • Bodeguita • General store • Gas station • Take a penny, leave a penny

[1] "Price Waterhouse Coopers. (2005/ 2006). Singapore. From Beijing to Budapest: Winning Brands, Winning Formats, 4, p. 189." [2] "Upstart Mini-marts. (2006, October 22). The Sunday Times. " [3] "Convenience Stores Pose Threat to Supermarkets. (1984, March 23). The Business Times." [4] "Price Waterhouse Coopers. (2005/ 2006). Singapore. From Beijing to Budapest: Winning Brands, Winning Formats, 4, p. 189." [5] "Loh, Choon-Min James. (1988). The Adoption of A Retailing Innovation in A Newly Industrialising Country: The Modernisation of Local Provision Shops in Singapore. United Kingdom: The British Library, p. 61." [6] "Can 24-hr marts thrive in S’pore?. (2005, May 15). The Straits Times." [7] "Price Waterhouse Coopers. (2005/ 2006). Singapore. From Beijing to Budapest: Winning Brands, Winning Formats, 4, p. 193." [8] "The Business Times reports that in Singapore chains of mini-markets (or convenience stores) have rapidly sprung up to fill the gap between the large supermarkets and the neighbourhood stores (or provision shops). (1984, November 15). Business Times Singapore." [9] "Dairy Farm reviewing 7-Eleven businesses in Singapore and Malaysia. (1989, April 12). Business Times Singapore." [10] "The Business Times reports that in Singapore chains of mini-markets (or convenience stores) have rapidly sprung up to fill the gap between the large supermarkets and the neighbourhood stores (or provision shops). (1984,

External links
• Traditional and modern Japanese culture, with an article devoted to Japanese convenience stores (Spanish). • Convenience Store News (convenience store industry trade publication and online news source) • Convenience Store Blog • Convenience Store Decisions (convenience store industry trade publication) • Australian Convenience Store News ( industry trade publication) • NACS, the Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing • 24-7: The NACS Blog


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Convenience store

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