7-Eleven Franchise Owners Inclined to Hire Foreign Part-time Workers

Japan is currently battling with issues on chronic labor shortage in various industries such as agriculture, nursing, construction and food service sectors. The plummeting of the country’s workforce is brought about by its aging population as a result of low birth rate. In order to address these issues, the Japanese government is looking for ways to promote inbound tourism and open wider doors of opportunities for foreign nationals seeking employment in Japan.


Photo credit to: https://www.bloomberg.com

One of the commercial enterprises that is heavily affected by the tremendous decline in the number of workers is the 7-Eleven convenience store. Although these types of stores are popular among locals and foreign tourists alike, owners of konbinis are grappling due to the labor challenges that the country is faced with.


Since the very first 7-Eleven Japan Co was launched in 1974, this convenience store has already become a consistent and integral part of Japanese society with more than fifty thousand branches across the country. However, this does not spare 7-Eleven and other convenience stores such as Lawson and Family Mart from being affected by the current labor issues in Japan.


According to Atsushi Nara, one of the oldest employee of 7-Eleven stores in Ibaraki prefecture, “Seven-Eleven management has found no effective measures to address the shortage of labor that has become a burden on franchise owners, but continue to be bound by the idea that opening new outlets will lead to higher sales.”


Last February 2019, news reports circulated that a 7-Eleven franchise owner has decided to close his convenient store overnight due to the worsening shortage of staff. In order to address this matter, more and more convenience store owners in Japan have resorted to hiring foreign part-time workers to cover some shifts.


Sanefuji Renebel, a Filipino citizen who is currently working in one of the 7-Eleven stores in Nara, Japan was surprised when she was immediately hired as a staff because she has not yet mastered the Japanese language. She said that “I know that we are short of labor so I want to try not to cause trouble and learn my job as fast as I can.”


Reference: 7-Eleven stores struggling in face of labor shortage


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