ABOUT US Our History

Origins of Lawson

The company name of Lawson and its trademark white milk can against a blue background date back to 1939 in Ohio, the United States, where J. J. Lawson ran a dairy milk store. "Mr. Lawson's milk store" was locally renowned for its fresh and delicious milk and many customers came to buy milk there every morning. J. J. Lawson subsequently established Lawson Milk Co. and developed this into a chain of stores selling various commodities including daily necessities mainly in the northeast of America. The chain name "Lawson" and the milk can logo daily evoking an American dairy farm originated out of this milk trader in the United States. In 1959, Lawson Milk Co. became an affiliate of the American food giant Consolidated Foods Inc. and continued to widely expand its network of stores out of Ohio while establishing the convenience store operating system.

Opening of the First Lawson Store

Opening of the First Lawson Store Opening of the First Lawson Store

Lawson's operations in Japan began with the opening of the first Lawson store in Sakurazuka (Minami Sakurazuka in Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture) on June 14, 1975. At that time, Daiei, which was the parent company of Lawson, had entered into a consulting agreement with Consolidated Foods Inc. The first Lawson store in Japan was established as part of a unique franchise system based on the know-how of Lawson Milk Co. The first store sold party foods on an American theme and was very different from the Lawson stores of today. In September 1975, the first franchise store, the "Momoyama Store," was opened and this heralded the full-scale deployment of the franchise chain.


2023 August "Frozen Onigiri" experimentally sold in some stores in Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo for the efficient distribution of frozen foods
August Number of stores in China exceeded 6,000
August Opened stores in Wakkanai City, the northernmost area in Japan.
July Released sandwiches made with plant-based alternative eggs and made with chicken eggs in Lawson stores in Kanto-Koshinetsu regions
June Started a demonstration experiment at Green Lawson store in Tokyo to change the plastic lids of "MACHI café" coffee to paper
June Opened its first convenience store in Miyajima (Itsukushima), Hiroshima Prefecture
May Introduced LGBTQ initiatives such as same-sex partner housing, consultation services, and seminars
April Released products containing "purple barley" grown in a region selected as a World Agricultural Heritage for the first time in Natural Lawson stores
April Expansion of "MUJI" stores nationwide to all 47 prefectures in Japan
March Released products using organic brown rice for the first time in Natural Lawson stores
March Published data on "Communication Boards" displaying the "Ear Mark" symbol that can be used by people with hearing impairments for shopping on the Lawson official website and official app
February Started a demonstration experiment of "Lawson Avatar Store" at Green Lawson store in Tokyo, where producers themselves become avatar operators and can promote products remotely
February Selected as a good example company for "Barrier-Free for the Mind" in Tokyo
February Started a demonstration experiment of same-day delivery service for prescription drugs and Lawson products in some stores in Tokyo
January Donated out-of-date products such as "Karaage-kun" that were rapidly frozen to reduce food loss to children's cafeterias in Tokyo
2022 December Offered half-price hot milk on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, as we did last year, in order to support increased consumption of domestic milk
December Expanded “New Coronavirus Vaccination Certificate Issuance Service” using multi-copy machines nationwide
December Started a demonstration experiment at a store in Tokyo to sell out-of-date products removed from store shelves at a discount
November Opened futuristic store “Green Lawson” in Toshima Ward, Tokyo
November Distributed a video at which conveys the importance of toilets at some stores that also offered art toilets
November Opened a store in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture that reduces electricity usage by 40% and CO2 emissions by 55% compared to 2013
October “MUJI'' introduced at Lawson stores in Hokkaido, Kinki, Kyushu, and Okinawa prefectures
September Trial implementation of Lawson exclusive service “PickGo for LAWSON'' of shopping agency service “PickGo Shopping'' began at 33 stores in Tokyo, Chiba prefecture, and Saitama prefecture
September Partnered with AVITA Co., Ltd. to realize a new way of working that is not constrained by "time", "place", "age", "gender", or "various disabilities", as well as new contactless customer service at physical stores in the post-corona era
September Started accepting reservations for 2023 New Year's dishes, including upcycled New Year's dishes and that used approximately 99% less plastic
September Full-scale launch of cafe business using fresh fruits, etc.
August At Lawson stores nationwide, pointing sheets displaying an "ear mark" are installed at checkout counters to support shopping for people with hearing impairments
August Held an event to learn about the environment by eating “wasteful ingredients”
July Released onigiri rice balls made from a single brand of rice to spread the deliciousness of rare branded rice throughout the country
July The warehouse of Echigo-Ueda Post Office (Minamiuonuma City, Niigata Prefecture) was converted into a "mobile sales-only store" that does not conduct face-to-face sales, and began operating as a base for storing product inventory and mobile sales vehicles
July Number of stores in China exceeded 5,000
June Launched a new project “Happy Lawson Project” towards 50th anniversary in 2025
May Began Full-scale introduction of “MUJI'' to Lawson stores
April Participated in an experiment to provide reusable cups that can be used repeatedly at “MACHI café'' at four Lawson and Natural Lawson stores in the Marunouchi and Shibuya areas of Tokyo
April Adoption of “plastic spoons and forks with holes” and introduction of a selection system for “wooden” spoons.
March Changed the labels of six original PET bottled beverages to approximately 50% of the previous amount.
March Distributed app coupons for 50 yen off sanitary products in time for International Women's Day on March 8th
February “Demae-kan” delivery service began
February Adopted art by people with disabilities in “MACHI café” hot cup design
January Started demonstration experiment of "ghost restaurant" in which newly developed products exclusively for delivery were prepared in the in-store kitchen and delivered to one store in Tokyo.
2021 December Began opening stores in Sichuan Province, China
December Lawson Stores started selling daily necessities by weight for the first time
November Started experiments using AI and data in collaboration with Microsoft Japan
September Number of stores in China exceeded 4,000
August Announced the start of a pilot experiment in AI-based store delivery diagram optimization
July State-of-the-art SDGs-compliant stores for the post-COVID-19 era opened in Dalian, China
July Introduced compact trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells
June Conducted an experiment to recommend discount sales using AI
May Concluded a comprehensive business alliance agreement with H2O RETAILING CORPORATION
April Opened eco-friendly model stores in China that aim to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions
February Became the first in Japan to deliver prescription drugs through Uber Eats
2020 December Launched an AI-based approach to product demand forecasting
October Number of stores in China exceeded 3,000
August Began opening stores in Hebei Province, China
May Switched to using paper cups for all original drinking yogurt products
2019 August Launched "Smart Store (Midnight Labor Saving)" experiment
August Started the first pilot experiment for utilizing the Uber Eats service at convenience stores in Japan
January Number of stores in China exceeded 2,000
2018 October Became the first retailer to exhibit at CEATEC JAPAN 2018
October Received the 2018 Good Design Award for LAWSON Tatebayashi Kido-cho Store, an environmentally friendly model store, and the new-type POS cash registers
October Launched the Lawson Scholarship Program for International Students in cooperation with Osaka University
September Launched Lawson Bank, Inc.
July Opened five stores simultaneously in Hefei, Anhui Province, China
June Multi-language display function added to new POS cash register.
January Opened a model eco-friendly wooden store in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, using CLT (cross-laminated timber) made from Japanese cedar with high heat insulation properties
2017 October Established "Lawson Innovation Laboratory", embarking on the development of next generation systems
August First Lawson Store opening in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
February Became a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation due to the tender offer conducted by it
February Signed Mega-franchise Contract with Save On Corp. in Gumma, Tochigi, Niigata, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures
2016 November Established Lawson Bank Preparatory Company Inc.
November Started the operation of the joint-venture company running “LAWSON POPLAR” double-brand stores with Poplar Co., Ltd.
September Established a joint-venture company with Three F Co, Ltd. and began to open “LAWSON THREE F” doubled-brand stores
May First Lawson Store opening in Wuhan, Hubei, China
February Signed Mega-franchise Contract with Save On Corp. in Yamagata, Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures
2015 September UnionPay Card became available for Payment and ATM Withdrawal in Japanese Yen
April Signed a letter of intent with METRO COMMERCE Co, Ltd. to convert metro stores (Metros) to Lawson Stores
April First store with a nursing-care consultation window opening in Saitama Prefecture
March First Lawson Store opening in the Philippines
2014 October Acquired supermarket chain Seijo Ishii Co., Ltd.
August Acquired United Entertainment Holdings, Inc. via Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc.
2013 November Received the 18th annual IR Grand Prix Award by the Japan Investor Relations Association
October Released "Lawson Integrated Report 2013" to ensure a better understanding of Lawson by all stakeholders
July Acquired Eisai Seikaken Co., Ltd. as subsidiary
March First store opening in Thailand
2012 July First store opening in Hawaii
June Sequential implementation of solar power generation systems
May Stores connected with CD/DVD shop ‘HMV’ opened
May Local subsidiary of a holding company to oversee business management functions and investment / license management in China -‘Lawson China’ established
April Launched "Lawson Wi-Fi" wireless LAN service for smartphones
April Started autonomous radiation inspections at plants for manufacturing rice, bread, noodle dishes, and prepared foods
March Published "Experiences of 3-11" -a record of steps taken in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake- on the Lawson website
March Converted all station kiosks on the Tokyu Line to Lawson in phases
February Formed a business alliance with KDDI
February Became the first convenience store company to be selected for one of the "2012 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World."
February Started autonomous radiation inspections at fruit and vegetable processing and consolidating centers
February Membership of the "Ponta" common point program to which Lawson belongs exceeded 40 million
January Founded "Lawson USA Hawaii"
January Sealed a franchise contract with CVS Bay Area
2011 November Opened the first Lawson store in Dalian, China
October Transferred management rights in Shanghai Lawson (85% equity Lawson, 15% Ballian Group)
October Launched the "Radish Lawson Supermarket" service
October Started providing scholarships for the "Support Dreams Fund"
September Launched the internet shopping mall "Loppi Lawson Net Shopping Service"
September Founded Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc.
August Launched the "L Paca" general entertainment mall service
August Opened the "Lawson Jinsekikogencho Store" for supporting marginal villages based on the small compact city
July Opened the first Lawson store in Indonesia
June Sealed a license contract with PT MIDI UTAMA INDONESIA Tbk in Indonesia
June Announced a business alliance with Yahoo Japan Corporation
May Opened the 10,000th store in Japan
April Established the "Dream Support Fund" for providing scholarships to children who suffered in the Great East Japan Earthquake
2010 December Sealed a business and capital alliance with Oricon Inc.
December Acquired HMV Japan, Inc. as a consolidated subsidiary
July Acquired Ninety-nine Plus Inc. as a total subsidiary
July Acquired Lawson Entermedia, Inc. as a total subsidiary
July Opened the first Lawson store in Chongqing
July Began selling the "Lawson Select" private brand
April The "Premium Roll Cake" won the gold prize in the 2010 Monde Selection.
March Launched the "Ponta" common point program service
2009 August Formed a business alliance with Matsumoto Kiyoshi Holdings Co., Ltd.
August Introduced electric cars to part of the marketing car fleet and installed recharging equipment in some stores
June Introduced LED lighting in all new stores opened after June.
May Merged Value Lawson, Inc. into Ninety-nine Plus Inc.
March Launched "L-Chiki (fried chicken)"
January Formed a business alliance with SAN-A Co., Ltd. in Okinawa Prefecture.
2008 December Launched service for using Lawson points at cash registers
May Deployed the "Value Line" private brand nationwide
2007 July Opened a store for supporting raising children - "Happy Lawson Yamashita-Koen Store"
March Introduced "multi-terminals" for electronic money payment in all stores
January Launched "My Lawson Point" - a non-credit point card
2006 September Became first private sector company to conclude a "voluntary agreement for environmental conservation" with the Ministry of the Environment
2005 November Sealed a business alliance with TOKYU CORPORATION
May Opened the first "Lawson Store 100" store
2004 November Received the Minister of Environment Prize for the Lawson Green Fund campaign
2003 January Established "post boxes" in Lawson stores nationwide
2002 November Opened "Onigiriya" - the new rice ball brand
June Created the "Lawson Pass" point card
2001 July Opened first "Natural Lawson" store
May Established a joint ATM management company "Lawson ATM Networks, Inc.,"
2000 July Listed shares on First Sections of Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange
February Formed a business alliance with Mitsubishi Corporation
1998 December Acquired certification under the "ISO14001" environmental management system
February Introduced "Loppi" multimedia terminals to all stores
January Achieved sales of 1 trillion yen
1997 July Opened a store in Okinawa and realized Lawson's presence in all 47 prefectures of Japan
1996 July Opened the first overseas store in Shanghai, China
June Changed name from Daiei Convenience Systems, Co. Ltd. to Lawson, Inc.
April Launched "Lawson Ticket" sales
1995 January Made a company-wide recovery and fundraising effort in the aftermath of the Great Hanshin Earthquake
1994 March Started introducing "two-temperature zone system vehicles" to the fleet of CDC (frozen delivery center) delivery vehicles
1992 September Established the "Lawson Green Community Fund"
1991 February Started the Blue Sky Plan; appeal of "Hot Station in the Neighborhood" inside and outside of the company
February Started the "Wakadaisho" advertisement series featuring Masanobu Takashima
1989 October Started proxy reception for payments of electricity and gas fees
March Merged with Sun Chain Corporation, creating Daiei Convenience Systems Co., Ltd.
1988 September Started introducing the POS (point of sale information management) system
1986 April Launched "Kara-age-kun (fried chicken nuggets)"
1983 November Established a system for delivering rice dishes 3 times a day and daily foods 2 times a day
March Started copying and printing services
1982 September Launched "Oden" sales
March Started handling home deliveries
1980 September Made a business alliance with T.V.B Sun chain Co.,Ltd.
1979 March Opened first store under the new FC agreement
1977 November Established the first distribution center for the industry
April Started 24 hour/day operations
1975 June Launched the first original product - "Lawson plain milk"
June Opened the first Lawson store in Sakurazuka, Toyonaka-shi, Osaka
April Established Daiei Lawson Co. ,Ltd.