Seven and I Holdings, the Japanese parent company of 7-Eleven, plans to open more of its convenience stores in the United States. The company, which operates 50,000 stores worldwide, claims that the United States convenience store market has large growth potential when compared to other major markets in East Asia.

The Japanese convenience store corporation operates 52,692 stores throughout the world, with the bulk of its holdings in Japan. The United States is 7-Eleven’s second-largest market, with over 8,200 stores. Other top 7-Eleven regions include Thailand, which is home to over 6,200 stores, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

As the world’s largest retailer by total store volume, with more outlets than leading fast food giant McDonald’s, 7-Eleven’s expansion strategy continues to increase the size of the company’s footprint. Seven and I Holdings, the chain’s Japanese parent company, plans to increase its US-based store network to over 20,000 outlets.

Speaking from the firm’s headquarters in Japan, chief executive Toshifumi Suzuki claimed that 7-Eleven has unlimited growth potential in the United States due to a large, underserved population. Japan’s 120 million residents are served by 50,000 convenience stores – a ratio that far exceeds that found in the United States.

Toshifumi Suzuki believes that an investment in convenience stores in the United States could improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. The company is focused on developing its new stores in areas that are underserved, allowing many people greater access to food and household items from its network of outlets.

Given 7-Eleven’s massive success overseas and its dominance of much of the US-based convenience store market, its expansion plans certainly seem realistic. The company aims to open ‘at least’ 20,000 stores in the United States, with estimates indicating that a total presence of over 30,000 stores will likely be profitable.

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