Taiwan’s five major convenience store chains had a total of 9,204 outlets nationwide at the end of last year, giving it the highest density of convenience stores in the world, with each store serving 2,500 people, the Fair Trade Commission said yesterday.
Of the total number of stores, 14.3 percent were company-owned outlets, while franchise stores accounted for 85.7 percent of the total, the commission’s tallies showed.
The commission attributed the large number of franchise stores to the relatively low cost and low investment risk.
President Chain Store Corp’s (統一超商) 7-Eleven had the largest market share, with 4,800 outlets last year, followed by Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店), the country’s second-largest convenience store chain with 2,324 outlets.
This was followed by Hi-Life International Co (萊爾富) with 1,236 stores, OK Mart Co’s 824 convenience stores and 20 stores operated by Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖), the survey found.
The number of new convenience stores declined, with the growth rate falling to 1.47 percent last year from 25.38 percent recorded in 1999, mainly because of economic sluggishness, store mergers and emerging market saturation, the commission said.
The number of convenience stores nationwide saw a record-high net increase of 1,002 in 1999, which had fallen to 133 by last year, the commission’s tallies showed.
The commission said that despite market saturation, there was still room for expansion, as the five chains still reported net increases in their store numbers last year.
Separately, the Executive Yuan yesterday approved a service industry development program aimed at boosting the industry’s GDP to NT$11 trillion (US$333.8 billion) by 2012 and its exports to 1.2 percent of the global total by the same year.
The Council for Economic Planning and Development, which drafted the plan, said in a report submitted to a Cabinet meeting yesterday that a lack of simulation abilities made Taiwan’s service industry import-centered rather than export-oriented.
Last year, the export value of the industry stood at US$33.8 billion, which accounted for 0.9 percent of the global total and ranked 28th in the world.
In 2007, the sector’s R&D spending was less than 0.2 percent of its GDP, far lower than the 7 percent recorded in the manufacturing sector, the council said.
The council said that more should be spent in this area to boost the sector’s international competitiveness, improve R&D and innovation performance, create platforms for differentiated services, strengthen talent recruitment and nurture development potential.
The government should guide domestic service providers toward tapping overseas markets and help them overcome barriers to market access by lifting and easing regulations and restrictions, it said.
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment
DIVERSIFICATION: Although COVID-19 would push more companies to produce in emerging markets, DBS said that it was unlikely that firms would totally leave China Geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions are expected to accelerate the migration of manufacturing out of China, as concerns about the risk of production concentrated in one country increase, S&P Global Ratings said. Although its economic expansion might be weaker than previous levels due to the accelerated relocation of manufacturing, China’s economic growth would still be stronger than that of most other economies, the ratings agency said. “While absolute growth rates will moderate, we believe China’s economic performance will continue to be a key sovereign credit support,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Tan Kim Eng (陳錦榮) said in a statement on Thursday. “Its growth
Taiwan’s corporate landscape has changed significantly over the past 20 years, with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) replacing Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) as the revenue leader, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) has emerged as the most profitable firm, a survey of Taiwan’s 50 largest companies published on Tuesday last week showed. The Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine survey ranked Taiwan’s 50 largest companies based on their revenue last year, and compared them with the results of a similar survey it conducted in 2000. Only 33 companies on the original list remained in this year’s rankings, the survey found, following two
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) yesterday announced that it would suspend guestroom operations and lay off related staffers from Monday, as regional border controls and travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. The partial shutdown would not affect the five-star hotel’s restaurants, bars, spa, and conference and banquet facilities, which this month have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, it said. “Mandarin Oriental Taipei will suspend all guestroom services from June 1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hotel said after four months of maintaining normal operations proved unsustainable. The change necessitates downsizing and the hotel is handling