Con­ve­nience stores serve 2.9 bil. cus­tomers

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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