FamilyMart U.S. Start

Published in CSP Daily News

Japanese retailer to open first of 200 Famima c-stores next month

TOKYO -- Japanese convenience store operator FamilyMart Co. said Tuesday that it plans to open 200 stores in the United States over the next four years, with the first ones in California. The inaugural U.S. store will open July 20 in West Hollywood, Calif., under the name Famima, said the Associated Press.

The announcement reiterates the company's August 2003 statement, as reported in CSP Daily News, that it would open outlets in Oregon, Washington and California in its first foray outside Asia. The company now said it plans to have three U.S. locations [image-nocss] by the end of the year and about 200 by February 2009.

The stores will offer traditional Japanese c-store staples such as omusubi and onigiri rice balls, bento box lunches and sushi, as well as U.S. fare such as takeaway sandwiches, the Tokyo-company said. The store will also feature wireless Internet access, an ATM, a copy machine and an eat-in area, it added.

We would like our American customers to experience a new shopping style, said FamilyMart.

FamilyMart already has about 11,500 stores, including franchises, in Japan and other Asian locations including South Korea, Thailand, China and Taiwan.

The company has set up a U.S. human resources website for Famima, www.famima-usa.com.