Seven & i President Eager to Enter Europe, South America; Says No Drastic Job Cuts from Supermarket Woes

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Seven & i Holdings President Ryuichi Isaka talks with The Yomiuri Shimbun in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

Seven & i Holdings aims to expand its convenience store business to Europe and South America, company President Ryuichi Isaka said in a recent interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun.

“We aim to open outlets in 30 countries and regions by 2030, with bases in the United States and Japan,” said Isaka, 66.

The Japanese retail conglomerate has been expanding its overseas convenience store business, aiming to increase the number of outlets to more than 50,000 in regions other than Japan and North America by fiscal 2025.

In 2021, the company purchased Speedway LLC, a U.S. convenience store chain that operated about 4,000 outlets in the United States. The company announced in November its plan to acquire a 7-Eleven franchiser in Australia for about ¥167 billion.

“We’ve been discussing entering the European market behind the scenes. We’ll announce the specific countries when they’re finalized,” Isaka said, indicating active plans for expansion into Europe.

Isaka added, “There are people within the company who really want to expand [our business] to South America.”

However, the company’s supermarket business continues to slump. Ito-Yokado Co. plans to close 33 supermarket stores by fiscal 2025, mainly in rural areas with sluggish sales. However, Isaka denied any drastic job cuts resulting from the closures.

“We’re planning to use our subsidiaries and our internet supermarket business to accommodate these changes,” Isaka said. “It’s not restructuring, but rather a reallocation within the group,” he stressed.