Convenience stores serve 2.9 bil. customers
The number of convenience stores in Taiwan rose again in 2014 as store chain operators dedicated themselves to broadening their product lines and service coverage, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) cited a survey as saying Wednesday.
The stores served 2.91 billion customers in 2014, up about 30 million from a year earlier, according to the FTC, and average spending by customers was NT$71 (US$2.18), up from NT$65 in 2009.
As of the end of 2014, the number of outlets run by Taiwan’s five major convenience store chains rose 1.4 percent from the previ- ous year to 10,154 and was 25.53 percent higher than the 8,089 that existed at the end of 2004, the survey showed.
The five major convenience store chains are 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, Circle K and Million, which is run by state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp. ( ).
In the past decade, the number of convenience store outlets has grown an average of 2.3 percent a year, the FTC said.
This growth has been built from the chains’ efforts to provide customers with a wider range of products and services, including selling restaurant vouchers, movie tickets and train tickets, and helping cus- tomers reserve hotel rooms, and arrange car rentals, the FTC said.
Consumers can also go to the convenience stores to pay their mobile phone, electricity and credit card bills, making them more dependent than ever on the shops, which can now be found pretty much everywhere in urban areas, the FTC said.
The FTC said that more than 70 percent of the convenience stores in Taiwan are located in its six biggest metropolitan areas: Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.
Among the six major cities, New Taipei, the most populous city in Taiwan, had 2,038 convenience stores at the end of 2014, accounting for 20.07 percent of all convenience stores in Taiwan.
New Taipei was followed by Taipei, with 1,473 stores, or 14.51 percent of the total, and Taoyuan (1,193 stores, 11.75 percent), the FTC survey showed.
The FSC said Taiwan’s convenience store chain operators are gearing up to develop their own electronic commerce platform by integrating commodity flows with financial flows to attract more customers.
The commission said that it will keep a close eye on the sector to ensure fair competition in the market.