Japan Convenience Store Sales Hit Record High in 2022

REUTERS/Issei Kato, file photo
Plastic curtains at checkout counters to prevent infections between customers and the store employees amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a Seven-Eleven convenience store in Tokyo, Japan April 13, 2020.

TOKYO — Convenience store sales in Japan in 2022 rose 3.7% from the previous year to a record high of ¥11,177.5 billion thanks to the easing of pandemic restrictions on people’s movements, the Japan Franchise Association said Friday.

Demand for “onigiri” rice balls, “bento” boxed meals and soft drinks grew as the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions boosted the flow of people.

The number of convenience stores as of the end of 2022 fell by 112 from a year earlier to 55,838.

On a same-store basis, 2022 sales grew 3.3% to ¥10,729.5 billion. October and November, in particular, saw strong sales, getting a boost from the launch of the government’s tourism promotion campaign.

The number of shoppers in 2022 rose 0.6% from 2021, while the average value of purchases per customer increased 2.8% to ¥715.

In December alone, same-store sales grew 3.8%from a year before to ¥970.5 billion, the 10th consecutive month of increase, led by strong leisure-linked demand.