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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

We want to work together to create the next 50 years. We are looking for people who want to work with us to create the next 50 years.

7-Eleven Japan is "close by and convenient" and indispensable to daily life. As the social environment has changed drastically and people's values and lifestyles have diversified, the role that 7-Eleven Japan should play has also diversified. To this end, Seven-Eleven Japan will continue to hold an accelerator to solve social issues through co-creation with startups, as it did in the previous fiscal year. We interviewed Mr. Masayuki Fukakura, Deputy General Manager of the Corporate Planning Department, Planning Division, Seven-Eleven Japan Co.

Seeking co-creation with more than 30 companies out of 125 entries

--What were the results of the "Seven-Eleven Japan Accelerator 2022" held last year?

white rice field 125 startups entered the competition last year, and we are currently preparing for demonstration experiments with 2 startups.We are moving forward with the Not only that,More than 30 startups were connected to departments with which we have close relationships during the selection process.The company has achieved a significant result in that a culture of co-creation with startups has begun to sprout throughout the company, as each of them is considering co-creation on their own.

One company selected for the project isRobot cooking startupThe idea was originally to have robots deliver freshly prepared products to 7-Eleven stores. Initially, the idea was to deliver freshly prepared products cooked by robots at 7-Eleven stores, but we are now considering using the system at factories.

Since the factory produces products in large quantities, automation and equipment had always been in place. However, when products are made in large quantities in large pots and then divided into smaller portions, differences in the way the products are heated inevitably lead to variations in taste and quality. Therefore, we are now examining the possibility of using robots to produce high quality products.

The other company isEntomophagy startupsWe are currently conducting research on entomophagy using beetles. The idea was initially to sell insect foods, but now, in order to solve the food loss that occurs in stores, we are researching the possibility of using food that would otherwise be discarded as food for beetles and turning the beetles that grow on it into a product.

Themes to be sought are "health," "community," "environment," and "human resources.

--It is a wonderful result that co-creation is being considered not only with the selected companies, but also with more than 30 companies during the selection process. Will you continue to hold AXELA from the background of such results this time?

Tibet Yes, we did. We received quite a few entries, and not just from the companies we adopted,Co-creation with startups connected to departments with deep relationshipsis also making progress, and we wanted to continue this new movement.

white rice field The four themes for this year's call are "Health," "Community," "Environment," and "Human Resources.The first is "health. First of all, "health" means that in Japan, where the birthrate is declining and the population is aging, health care in the areas of disease prevention and unwellness is indispensable. Therefore,Ideas and solutions to improve health through 7-Eleven productsWe are seeking

In the "local area," we are working on "last mile" delivery of products in areas where shopping is inconvenient, but we believe that there are better ideas and solutions. We also believe there are better ideas and solutions,Ideas for solving various issues in the community, such as turning 7-Eleven stores into communities and fostering social connectionsWe are seeking

As for the "environment," our business is involved in energy, plastics, food recycling, and so on.How to contribute to society without burdening the environmentWe would like to explore with startups the

What is the last "human resource"?A value chain that enables all stakeholders to play an active role, including the approximately 9,000 employees who work for 7-Eleven, those who work for the merchants, the manufacturers who make the products, and the distribution centers.We would like to build a

From the perspective of diversity and inclusion, we would be happy to incorporate findings that would reduce the workload and increase the productivity of people working in our stores, factories, and in the company, as well as findings that would increase engagement and enable happier ways of working and living.

Tibet We have a history of being obsessed with meeting the ever-changing needs of our customers. It is important to us how we can provide new value and experiences to address the world's challenges, rather than just dragging out yesterday's successes. That is why we would like you to propose your ideas for making stakeholders and customers smile at all of our stores and in each of our regions.

A wide variety of resources available to startups

--What resources are available for startups to utilize?

white rice field Unchanged from last year,Six major resourcesYes, there is.

The first is,Real locations with approximately 21,000 stores in Japan and more than 70,000 stores if overseas are included.It is. This base can be seen as a platform or media for transmitting content, and we believe that ideas for its utilization will expand.

Second,Retail industry-leading store network and customer baseThe company has approximately 20 million customers per day in Japan and can utilize their purchasing data.

Third,Ability to propose and develop high-quality productsIt is. We have been providing products and services that meet the needs of our customers in collaboration with various business partners, known as Team MD. You can take advantage of this know-how, our development capabilities, and our production plants nationwide.

Fourth,Seven & i Holdings Group SynergiesIt is. In addition to the convenience store business, there are supermarket businesses such as Ito-Yokado, specialty store businesses such as Loft, Akachan Honpo, and Denny's, and finance-related businesses such as Seven Bank, so we can utilize those group resources as well.

Fifth,Logistics and network covering the entire countryIt is. We were the first in the world to introduce a system to transport goods not simply to transport them, but to transport them efficiently, creating a commercial distribution system that was unthinkable in the retail industry until then.
This logistics system can also be used to share order and sales data and inventory data from member stores nationwide with manufacturers to create production plans, and then deliver the products in batches to stores in optimal temperature zones for each product.

Sixth,The People Behind Seven-Eleven JapanIt is. In fact, most of our approximately 9,000 employees, including myself and Fukajo, started our careers within the company by working in stores. Our approximately 9,000 employees who have on-the-job experience and a customer-oriented way of thinking are also available as assets.

Tibet One more thing,Also utilizing the 7-Eleven app, which has approximately 20 million registered membersThe app is mainly for coupons, product information, and payment functions. The app mainly offers coupons, product information, and payment functions. We hope to strengthen the relationship with our customers by integrating our startups' solutions into this app.

We are ready for anything within the company. Together, we will take on new challenges to create the next 50 years.

--What kind of response did you get within the company?

depository for sacred objects Until now, most of our collaborations have been with long-standing business partners, but with Accela, we have turned our attention outward to "knowledge exploration" by utilizing the ideas of startups, in other words, we have changed our perspective from inward to outward.

We also had employees active in the field participate in meetings and brush-ups with the start-up, so we were able to share real-life problems in the field and learn from the start-up's enthusiasm and speed. Moreover, it also gave us a chance to rethink the way we have been doing our jobs so that we can apply what we have learned from the startups in the field.

--How many people are involved in the demonstration experiment with the two adopted companies?

white rice field Each has about 10 employees involved. By continuing this effort, we hope to increase the population of startups and accelerators involved and foster a culture of spontaneous open innovation in each department.

- means that a new member will participate this time around.

Tibet That's right, we will have different people participating than last year. Interviews with first-term students who participated last year are shared within the company, and workshops are held for the approximately 30 members who will participate this time to help them acquire the mindset necessary for co-creation.

- - you're all ready to go. From a startup's point of view, I think it is encouraging. Please give us your thoughts on this project and your message to startups.

white rice field Looking back on the history of Seven-Eleven Japan, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, the values and lifestyles of society have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Considering the next 50 years, the pace of change is expected to be even faster and more drastic.

So,Through co-creation with startups, we want to evolve the convenience and affluence we have been offering........ New challenges for the next 50 years can be done at 20,000 stores on a large scale or at 10 stores. We can experiment both locally and in urban areas, so let's be flexible in our approach to the various challenges.

Although there are four themes of "health," "community," "environment," and "human resources," we would be happy if you could genuinely suggest what you would like to do in 7-Eleven stores and supply chains.

Tibet Currently, 7-Eleven is in the process of strengthening its global expansion, as it has opened stores in only 19 countries and regions worldwide. For those of you who are starting out,Prospects for business opportunities not only in Japan but also overseasThe situation is challenging.

In addition, from our point of view, startups are customers who usually shop at 7-Eleven stores. We have a mindset of treating each other with equality and sincerity as a prerequisite, so please feel free to enter our competition. Let's create the next 50 years together. We are looking forward to hearing your ideas.

name of companySeven-Eleven Japan Co.
Location8-8 Nibancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8455, Japan
phone03-6238-3711 (Representative)
representativeFumihiko Nagamatsu, President and Representative Director
EstablishmentNovember 20, 1973
capital stock17.2 billion yen
Number of Employees8,930 (as of the end of February 2022)
Business OverviewFranchise chain headquarters business for 7-Eleven convenience stores
uniform resouce locatorhttps://www.sej.co.jp/
Mr. Masayuki Fukazo Seven-Eleven Japan Co.
Deputy General Manager, Corporate Planning Department, Planning Division
In 1998, he joined Seven-Eleven Japan Co. After working at a store and as a store management consultant, he was transferred to the Sales Promotion Department in 2002, where he was engaged in promoting various in-store promotions to increase sales and customer traffic. In 2016, he joined the Strategic Planning Department, and in 2018, he joined the Innovation Development Department (currently the Corporate Planning Department), where he oversees the creation of new businesses.
Mr. Hisato Shirai Seven-Eleven Japan Co.
Manager, Corporate Planning Department, Planning Division
Joined Seven-Eleven Japan Co. in 2004. He has worked as a store employee, store management consultant, area manager, and new store development, and has been engaged in new business planning and promotion in the Innovation Development Department (currently the Corporate Planning Department) since 2019.

[Wanted] Join Seven-Eleven Japan in solving social issues and co-creating future lifestyle infrastructure.

February 28, 2022

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Tomomi Tamura
He joined Snow Brand Milk Industry in 2000. He then worked for an advertising agency and as a sole proprietor before joining BizReach in 2012. Engaged in content creation, he joined NewsPicks in 2016 as an editor on the BrandDesign team, and is now a freelance writer and editor.
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