Convergence between French and Japanese Convenience Store Business Models


  • Capo Claire
  • Chanut Odile

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Convenience stores (CS) – also known as local stores-take different forms worldwide reflecting national market characteristics. This paper focuses on the business models applied by local store chains in an attempt to demonstrate that relevant models have converged in France and Japan, despite their very different contexts and origins. In France, the mass retail sector is led by a few powerful retailing groups along directive lines. Power is more diffuse in Japan, with intermediaries (especially wholesalers) playing a significant role and regulating the distribution channels along more participative lines. Using a grid to analyse seven dimensions of proximity (spatial, functional, identity, relational, process, inter-organisational and price positioning) we compare business models for local store chain in Japan (so-called convenience stores) and in France (so-called " magasins de proximité " , i.e. proximity stores). What we identify is significant convergence amongst local store chain business models relating to most of the aforementioned dimensions of proximity (spatial, functional, process but also relational and identity through the choices of franchising and private brand developing). Regarding inter-organisational proximity, however, some major divergences persist. 2

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