The number of convenience stores in Taiwan last year grew at the fastest pace in 14 years, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said yesterday, indicating that the market for these ubiquitous stores has yet to become saturated.
There were 11,429 convenience stores in the nation as of the end of last year, an increase of 524, or 4.81 percent, from a year earlier, the fastest annual growth rate since 2006, the commission said in a statement.
The figures were based on a survey by the commission covering Taiwan’s five major convenience store chains — 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, OK Mart and Taiwan Sugar Corp’s Million.
Based on a population of 23.6 million, that equates to one convenience store per 2,065 consumers, the second-highest density in the world after South Korea’s 1,205, but ahead of Japan’s 2,233, the commission said.
The nation’s six special municipalities — Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung — which account for about 69 percent of the nation’s population, had 8,416 convenience stores at the end of last year, or 73.64 percent of the total, the statement said.
New Taipei City, the most populous city, had 2,228 convenience stores, or 19.49 percent of the total, ahead of Taipei’s 1,631 stores and Taichung’s 1,388, the statement said.
The survey found that consumers bought items at convenience stores about 130 times on average last year, spending NT$82.6 on average, up NT$3.7 from a year earlier, a sign of the high consumer dependence on these stores, it said.
The three most popular items in terms of sales value for convenience stores were tobacco, beverages and mealboxes/sandwiches, and hot food items, it said.
7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Hi-Life — the three largest convenience store operators — accounted for more than 75 percent of all convenience stores and revenue last year, the statement said.
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