Taiwan has the highest convenience store density in the world, ahead of even Japan, and sales in the sector are expected to continue to grow to more than NT$300 billion (US$9.31 billion) this year, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Ministry data showed that as of the end of May, Taiwan’s major convenience store chains owned 10,199 outlets, which translated into a density of one store for every 2,304 residents.
The four major chains in the nation are 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, OK Mart and Hi-Life.
Japan had 54,839 stores with a density of one store for every 2,317 residents as of the end of March, ministry data showed.
Convenience store sales in Taiwan are expected to surpass the NT$300 billion mark to hit a record high this year, up from NT$295 billion last year, the ministry said.
In the first five months of this year, revenue generated by the stores rose 5.2 percent from a year earlier to NT$125.9 billion since the stores here have broadened their product and service portfolios by serving fresh coffee and selling concert and train tickets.
Although the number of convenience stores in Taiwan has been on the rise, the pace of the increase has shown signs of moderating, the ministry said.
Last year, the number of stores rose by 56, the slowest increase in six years, while in the first five months of this year, only 12 new stores opened, the ministry said.
The slower pace of expansion reflected the saturated market with a high density and escalating competition in the industry, the ministry said, adding that high growth in new outlets is a thing of the past.
While local chains have scaled down their plans to add new outlets, they have shifted their attention to emerging businesses, such as mobile shopping and e-commerce to boost sales, the ministry said.
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