Japan Labor Shortage Leads to Seven-Eleven President Ouster

Japan Labor Shortage Leads to Seven-Eleven President Ouster

Seven-Eleven (7-Eleven is spelled out by the company in Japan) franchisees in Japan have been facing labor shortages and higher wages. That makes their franchisor’s mandate of staying open 24 hours, seven days a week, a major problem. Franchisees have been pressing for a change to the always-open policy, leading Kazuki Furuya to step aside as Seven-Eleven Japan president.

Early this month Takuya Imai of the Nikkei Asian Review wrote:

Seven-Eleven Japan is set to appoint Vice President Fumihiko Nagamatsu as president in the first leadership change since 2016, when the sudden resignation of Toshifumi Suzuki as chairman of parent company Seven & i Holdings forced a shake-up. Current President Kazuki Furuya will serve as chairman of the operating company.

The hope is that Nagamatsu’s background in human resources will help him more effectively steer an organization that is still reeling from the departure of its longtime chief. The loss of Suzuki’s charismatic leadership, on top of a chronic labor shortage threatening the business model that powered the chain’s growth for more than four decades, has proven a difficult combination to handle.

As many expected, brand-new Seven-Eleven Japan president Nagamatsu is proving more flexible on franchisee store hours, as reported last Friday:

“We will let the owners of (franchise stores) make the final decision” on whether to reduce business hours, Fumihiko Nagamatsu, president of Seven-Eleven Japan Co. told a press conference in Tokyo, in a shift from the industry leader’s longtime policy of opening stores around-the-clock. — The Mainichi

Photo of a 7-Eleven in Kurogane, Yokohama, Japan by Toshihiro Gamo

“We will let the owners of (franchise stores) make the final decision” on whether to reduce business hours, Fumihiko Nagamatsu, president of Seven-Eleven Japan Co. told a press conference in Tokyo, in a shift from the industry leader’s longtime policy of opening stores around-the-clock.”We will let the owners of (franchise stores) make the final decision” on whether to reduce business hours, Fumihiko Nagamatsu, president of Seven-Eleven Japan Co. told a press conference in Tokyo, in a shift from the industry leader’s longtime policy of opening stores around-the-clock.
“We will let the owners of (franchise stores) make the final decision” on whether to reduce business hours, Fumihiko Nagamatsu, president of Seven-Eleven Japan Co. told a press conference in Tokyo, in a shift from the industry leader’s longtime policy of opening stores around-the-clock.
“We will let the owners of (franchise stores) make the final decision” on whether to reduce business hours, Fumihiko Nagamatsu, president of Seven-Eleven Japan Co. told a press conference in Tokyo, in a shift from the industry leader’s longtime policy of opening stores around-the-clock.

BMM Staff
Sun, 04/28/2019 – 06:27

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7-Eleven in Yokohama, Japan

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Franchisee Leads Japan’s Seven-Eleven to Adjust 24/7 Hours

Franchisee Leads Japan’s Seven-Eleven to Adjust 24/7 Hours

What with Japan’s labor crunch, Seven-Eleven (7-Eleven is spelled out by the company in Japan) franchisee Mitoshi Matsumoto, 57, found himself working longer and longer hours. Something had to give. He asked his franchisor to allow him to close his 24/7 store for five hours daily, but corporate refused. He closed anyway.

Seven-Eleven warned he would be violating his contract and could not only lose his license, but also be slapped with a $150,000 fine. That’s when Matsumoto took his case to the media.

The result was an outpouring of sympathy for the beleaguered franchisee and a round of condemnation against Seven-Eleven. Some newly emboldened franchisees backed Matsumoto, demanding change. —Mitsuru Obe & Kenji Kawase, Nikkei Asian Review

Around 100 stores out of over 20,000 Seven-Eleven locations in Japan are requesting shorter operating hours.

Photo by Michael Ocampo

BMM Staff
Mon, 04/29/2019 – 08:42

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7-Eleven Japan Exterior Shot

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