Companies Welcome New Employees as Post-COVID Era Begins

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A customer service avatar is shown on a screen at the Lawson entrance ceremony in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday.

Lawson, Inc. and ANA Holdings Inc. were among the companies that held entrance ceremonies on Saturday as the new fiscal year began. Lawson’s ceremony featured a customer service avatar displayed on an LCD screen, which will be introduced to alleviate staff shortages in stores. ANA conducted a hybrid in-person and online event, its first group-wide ceremony in four years.

As economic activities get back into full swing amidst the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, inflation and labor shortages are becoming widespread.

Lawson hired around 10% more employees than in the previous year, with a total of 98 new hires. In the morning ceremony, Lawson’s President Sadanobu Takemasu addressed the new employees, saying: “This fiscal year, we are finally entering the post-COVID era. To further enhance the appeal of in-person experiences, we want to make full use of digital technology.”

In addition to Lawson and ANA, East Japan Railway Co. and AEON Co. also held entrance ceremonies on Saturday. Many more companies have scheduled their entrance ceremonies for Monday, the first business day of the new fiscal year.