How to Open A 7-Eleven Franchise In Japan

Opening a 7-Eleven convenience store in Tokyo may seem like a lucrative business venture, but aspiring franchise owners are in for a rude awakening.

According to recent discussions on the Japan Finance subreddit, the average waiting time to secure a 7-Eleven franchise in the bustling Japanese capital is a staggering seven years.

The revelation came as a shock to a 25-year-old Indian student studying at a Tokyo senmon gakko (specialized training college). The ambitious young man, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed his love for the ubiquitous convenience store chain and his desire to open his own 7-Eleven in Tokyo.

With approximately ¥9 million (roughly $57,000) in savings back home in India, he sought advice from the online community.

However, the responses he received painted a daunting picture of the challenges faced by potential 7-Eleven franchisees in Tokyo.

A Reddit user familiar with the process, explained that the lengthy waiting period is due to the city’s saturated market. “All main areas are already covered and they’ve 7-11 already. So in order to open a new 7-11 existing ones has to close,” they wrote. “So you have to wait until one closes and it will take on average 7 years.”

The requirements for opening a 7-Eleven franchise in Japan are also stringent. Aspiring owners must attend a seminar and apply, but the process doesn’t end there.

According to the user, “two people who are related and not employed are required to open a 7-11.” This means that the Indian student would need to quit his day job and find a family member who is also willing to dedicate themselves full-time to the venture.

Despite the daunting prospects, the allure of owning a 7-Eleven in Tokyo remains strong for many. The convenience store chain, which operates over 20,000 stores across Japan, is known for its wide range of products, from fresh food and beverages to everyday essentials and unique local offerings.

But the path to 7-Eleven ownership is not for the faint of heart. Another Reddit user, highlighted additional hurdles, such as the need for permanent residency and the potential challenges of operating a single store. “I was reading quite a few yahoo answers and threads from owners and it seems like owning a single store is hell and it’s not until you have 3 or more were they start to take off,” they cautioned. “You have a one time membership FC fee but a monthly FC subscriber fee that is about 50% of your profit.”

Despite the obstacles, some users offered glimmers of hope. One user clarified that permanent residency is not the only path to 7-Eleven ownership, noting that “long term resident, special permanent resident, spouse of a Japanese national, spouse of a permanent resident” are also eligible.

Additionally, they pointed out that a Kabushiki Gaisha (joint-stock company) is not the only business structure available, as “plenty of convenience store owners are sole proprietors.”

As the Indian student and other aspiring 7-Eleven owners weigh their options, the online community continues to offer valuable insights and advice. The road to convenience store ownership in Tokyo may be long and arduous, but for those with the determination, patience, and resources, the dream of running their own 7-Eleven may one day become a reality.

User Comments:

  1. “Wow. This good information to know. I have never consider running a 711 but good to know there id such an option. Appreciate your sharing.”
  2. “That’s interesting. Wonder about in smaller cities the prices and setup.”
  3. “You can basically hire a Japanese person to be your director on your Kabushiki board, it’s not very expensive either.”
  4. “Wow and I couldn’t even get a parking space contract because I didn’t have a Japanese guarantor lol. I guess I can open my own 7-11 and park my car there /s”
  5. “It’s not required anymore to have a Japanese national on your board”

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