The freeway rest area in Sinying District (新營), Greater Tainan, was relaunched yesterday under the management of its new operator, Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店), which is aiming for 25 percent growth in annual sales.
Facing rising competition in its convenience store business, FamilyMart — the second-largest convenience store operator in the nation — is continuing to expand its business operating commercial complexes and restaurants, aiming to maintain sales momentum in the long term.
The firm took over management of the area in March and invested nearly NT$10 million (US$334,000) to renovate the building and recruit tenants, with a focus on local food and beverage brands.
It was the company’s first move into the operation of freeway service stations.
FamilyMart has introduced an energy management system at the Sinying rest area, which is expected to save 20 percent of the rest area’s energy costs.
“We will make the rest area in Sinying the first in Taiwan with a smart, green energy concept,” FamilyMart president Chang Ren-dun (張仁敦) said in a press release.
Chang said he expects the rest area to generate about NT$150 million in sales per year, a 25 percent increase from the average of NT$120 million in annual sales previously.
FamilyMart operates a total of 16 commercial complexes in Taiwan, most located in colleges or transportation stations.
The convenience store operator’s strategy to diversify its business shows the challenging conditions in the convenience store sector.
Chang said the convenience store business has gradually become a saturated market, with the annual net expansion of FamilyMart expected to be fewer than 100 stores in the future.
Other than commercial complexes, FamilyMart has also been moving into the food and beverage sector in the past few years. The company — which owns two restaurant brands, Volks and Ootoya — has launched a subsidiary, Family International Gourmet Co (全家國際餐飲), to manage its restaurant business.