Photo: Japan Today
TOKYO – Japan Today
Convenience store operator Lawson Inc will close around 85 stores across Japan during the country’s year-end and New Year holidays, sources close to the matter said Wednesday, breaking from the industry’s 24 hours per day, 365 days per year standard.
The convenience store operator will allow franchise owners to shut stores for several days between Dec 30 and Jan 3, as customer numbers are expected to decline at outlets in business districts.
Some convenience stores also face difficulty in securing enough staff, including part-timers, during the holidays, the sources said.
Lawson has only once before allowed multiple franchise owners to close outlets over a New Year holiday period. During the previous year-end and New Year holidays, 102 stores closed nationwide in a trial to gauge the impact on business operations.
As of late November, 367 of Lawson’s 14,503 stores regularly operate over reduced operating hours.
Among other convenience store operators, Seven-Eleven Japan Co will keep its outlets running as usual during the year-end and New Year holidays. FamilyMart Co plans to send substitute staff to stores operated by franchise owners who want to take leave.
For the upcoming holiday season, many supermarket and eatery operators in Japan plan to close amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections.