Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 13 News List

President Chain launches hotpot diner joint venture

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

President Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商), which operates the nation’s largest convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, aims to raise sales from reinvestments in the food and beverage sector by continuous expansion.

The convenience store operator has just stepped into the low-price hotpot restaurant market by launching its first outlet under the brand Washoku (鍋上都) in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) on Thursday.

The brand is operated by SATO Taiwan (統一和食上都), a joint venture between PCSC and its Japanese ally, Sato Restaurant Systems.

The hotpot chain has set its average customer spending at around NT$200 to NT$300 (US$6.61 to US$9.91), raising market speculations that it will challenge 12 Sabu (石二鍋), the low-priced hotpot restaurant chain operated by Wowprime Corp (王品集團).

As well as operating more than 5,000 7-Eleven stores, PCSC’s increasing reinvestments in the food and beverage sector has helped put its annual sales above NT$20 billion.

Most of these reinvestments are well-known restaurant brands from the US and Japan, such as President Starbucks Coffee Corp (統一星巴克), Afternoon Tea Taiwan Corp (統一午茶風光), Cold Stone Creamery (酷聖石冰淇淋) and Mister Donut Taiwan Co (統一多拿滋).

Reviewing household consumption in Taiwan over the past five years, UBS Securities Pte Ltd said the nation’s households have showed a trend toward increasing food-service spending, while cutting back on other expenditures, like clothing.

PCSC would benefit most from this household consumption re-allocation on the back of fresh foods, commission revenue and the earnings contributions from its subsidiaries, the brokerage house said in its latest report.

The company on Monday announced it plans to introduce products from Muji (Taiwan) Co Ltd (台灣無印良品) in a bid to fuel growth momentum by helping to further diversify the company’s product lineup.

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