Many Familymart Stores Less Profitable During Trial To Shorten Business Hours

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TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Convenience store chain FamilyMart Co. said Tuesday that operating profits fell at 59% of some 600 outlets that halted late-night operations in a trial to shorten business hours.

Announcing the results of the experiment conducted in October-December last year, FamilyMart also said it will start allowing franchise stores to shorten service hours from June 1 by halting late-night and early-morning operations. Applications will be accepted from March 1.

At stores that suspended late-night operations every day during the trial, labor costs fell 11% on average year on year. Their sales dropped 6.7%, leading to the operating profit declines.
But 41% secured profit growth.

Meanwhile, 57% of the stores that did not participate logged profit growth, while the remaining 43% saw their profits fall.

A store manager that took part felt more relaxed, while another felt heavy burdens of preparing for store opening and closing.

“From now, we will ask franchise store owners to decide whether to shorten service hours,” Vice President Toshio Kato told a press conference.

Also on Tuesday, FamilyMart released guidelines for shortened service hours. Franchise store owners will be allowed to shorten late-night and early-morning operations every day or only on Sundays.

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