Seven & I Holdings is one of Japan's two biggest retail groups, operating a broad portfolio of formats from convenience stores to superstores. The current business was formed from the merger of three separate but inter-linked companies. Superstore giant Ito-Yokado is Japan's equivalent to Walmart or Carrefour, launched by entrepreneur Masatoshi Ito in the 1960s. Later Ito acquired local franchise rights for family restaurant Denny's Japan and convenience store chain 7-Eleven. He took control of the latter's US parent in 2005, merging all three companies into a single group. In 2006 the group also absorbed Japan's Seibu and Sogo department stores. It also owns a sizeable portfolio of other smaller retail and food service chains, as well as Tower Records and Barneys New York in Japan, lifestyle chain LOFT and electronic payment card Nanaco. Unlike its main domestic rival Aeon, Seven & I also has a broad international footprint as a result of 7-Eleven's extensive global network. It is the world's biggest convenience store business with more than 60,000 owned or franchised outlets in 18 countries, including 20,260 in Japan alone. In 2018, the group expanded its US footprint further with the acquisition of part of Sunoco's service station network. Still one of Japan's 15 richest men, the elderly Ito remains honorary chairman. The group's 83-year-old chairman & CEO Toshifumi Suzuki, who first introduced the 7-Eleven brand to Japan in the 1970s and oversaw its subsequent expansion, was forced out in 2016 after a boardroom struggle and pressure from activist investors. Ryuichi Isaka, head of 7-Eleven Japan, was appointed as CEO in his place. Joseph DePinto is CEO of 7-Eleven Inc of the US. Group revenues for the year to Feb 2018 were approximately $55bn, but system sales including franchisees were almost $100bn. Performance has been generally flat in Japan, but remains strong internationally. Adbrands no longer profiles this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Capsule checked 8th October 2018
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Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Apr 2017: Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is to acquire almost 1,100 new gas station outlets in 18 states from Sunoco for around $3.3bn. All existing Sunoco outlets, including its Stripes and Laredo Taco chains, will rebrand as 7-Eleven following completion. That deal will take 7-Eleven's total estate in North America to almost 9,820 outlets.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Sept 2015: 7-Eleven, Australia's biggest convenience store chain and petrol retailer came under the media spotlight following a joint investigative report by the current affairs TV show Four Corners and news magazine Business Day. This revealed that as many as two-thirds of 7-Eleven's 620 franchised outlets in Australia have been exploiting their workers, many of whom are foreign students. Staff are routinely paid as little as half the legal minimum rate, and required to work long shifts - sometimes as much as 16 hours straight - in breach of visa conditions. They also face the constant threat of violence from customers - open all night every night, the chain suffers an average of three robberies a week. In some cases, workers' passports are held by store owners to ensure no complaint is made to the authorities. In a panicked response to the intense media coverage, 7-Eleven's head office in Australia expressed its shock at the revelations and promised a full review of working conditions. However several commentators questioned the honesty of that promise, claiming that the company was already fully aware of the situation and that many stores are only financially viable if they pay lower than legal wages.
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