Lawson has taken a new step forward in its reassessment of the ways in which convenience stores can create happiness in the community by formulating a new slogan,
“Hot Station (Best Relief Hub) in Our Communities.” We interviewed three directors concerning Lawson’s Three Promises, use of digital tools, directions for future growth and priority issues for resolution.
Senior Vice President, Division COO, Retail Division,
Consumer Industry Group, Mitsubishi Corporation
I believe that Lawson, which currently operates approximately 14,500 stores throughout Japan, has enormous growth potential operating in cooperation with Mitsubishi Corporation.
As the population continues to contract, competition is increasing in severity, both within and between industries. This trend underscores the importance of continuing to provide products and services that meet consumers’ needs. Lawson’s new products are better than ever, with several scoring big hits this term. In our service field, meanwhile, the establishment of Lawson Bank has provided a basis for offering various financial services. Our new LAWSON FRESH PICK and SMARI* services, which use our existing delivery networks to provide new Lawson value, are continuing to improve. The adoption of laborsaving digital technologies has proven effective in dealing with the labor shortage, and new initiatives in this area are in the works. Our main objective is to work with our franchise owners to achieve sustainable growth throughout the convenience store business. Providing our franchise owners and store crews with more fulfilling, more stable lives is helping to improve Lawson’s reputation as well.
Mitsubishi Corporation views the Lawson Group as an essential consumer interface that provides all its businesses with valuable knowledge. Close cooperation with Lawson, which responds adeptly to rapidly changing consumer trends, has created unprecedented business opportunities for Mitsubishi Corporation, which overlooks the industrial structure as a whole from high upstream in the product value chain. The ability to use AI and other technologies to analyze purchasing data gathered from 10 million customers a day has enabled Mitsubishi Corporation to conceive new measures and businesses. In my heartfelt belief in Lawson’s future as a “Hot Station (Best Relief Hub) in Our Communities” set apart from other convenience stores, I will continue my unstinting support for Lawson as an employee of Mitsubishi Corporation, and spare no effort in my capacity as one of Lawson’s Directors.
*A service using Lawson’s distribution network to return rental items and products purchased through EC
Outside DirectorEmi Osono
Professor, The School of International Corporate Strategy at the
Graduate School of Business Administration, Hitotsubashi University
I believe competition in the convenience store industry has shifted its focus from quantity to quality. With shopping and service activities migrating online, convenience stores are being required to reconsider the unique value brick-andmortar stores can offer, while raising the efficiency of their value chain as a whole.
Lawson has responded to this challenge by conveying Three Promises: The Superior taste, with a larger meaning extending beyond food and beverages to encompass every aspect of consumer lifestyles; Human kindness; and Environmental (Machi) friendliness. These promises express the Company’s strong commitment to its communities. Since the roles convenience stores are expected to play vary with the community, input from the franchise owners who know their community best is of particular importance. Lawson moved long ago to create opportunities for dialogue between franchise owners and Headquarters. This has engendered a variety of initiatives crafted to support individual stores’ efforts to fit into their community. I believe this is the source of Lawson’s unique appeal.
I will enjoy seeing Lawson express its character in the banking business. It will undoubtedly offer financial services that respond accurately to individual customers’ needs through linkage with LAWSON stores’ tangible products and services.
The recently introduced food waste reduction program is also an excellent idea. There is so much more we can do to reduce food waste. We must determine our priorities and bring them swiftly to reality. Lawson’s stance toward realizing the SDGs, including its introduction of paper cups to reduce the volume of plastics it uses, will continue to attract attention in the future.
I have the highest admiration for the operational reforms Lawson has implemented over the past few years. Together, they have constructed to build up “core strength” to support future growth. The next step will be to produce results. I will look forward to seeing the new value offered by this “Hot Station (Best Relief Hub) in Our Communities” through new experiences that make people happy.
Outside DirectorMiki Iwamura
Vice President, APAC Marketing, CMO Japan, Google Japan G. K.
The convenience store is entering a new era. If we call the model imported from the United States “Convenience Store 1.0,” the model that took root in Japan was “Convenience Store 2.0.” Now that the customer base has expanded from young men to include women, children and seniors and the offering has evolved to encompass services other than shopping, a new “Convenience Store 3.0” format is in demand.
Lawson’s Three Promises have truly significant meaning for this new era. Lawson is leading the way in providing safe, reliable daily food and preserving the environment of its communities and our Earth.
One reason I rate Lawson so highly is its positive application of digital technologies to enhance its efficiency and services. Lawson’s corporate vision and management policies reflect a strong awareness that technology is for the people. A second reason is the brand power Lawson has acquired by developing original products such as desserts and onigiri rice balls. NATURAL LAWSON and SEIJO ISHII are also firmly established store brands.
Lawson is also rapidly advancing its ESG activities. Environmental initiatives such as its measures to reduce plastic use and food loss, along with its strong support for franchise owners, demonstrate a clear awareness of its social responsibilities and of the importance of friendly relations with the community and its residents.
Now in my second year as an Outside Director, I remain surprised by the open atmosphere on the Board of Directors. I participate actively in discussions of various aspects of management, branding, digital application and overseas expansion from the perspective of marketing, which is my area of expertise. I also make proposals concerning product development from the female consumers’ standpoint.
Lawson is determined to do the right thing for customers, franchise owners, the global environment and future generations. I want to see Lawson respond to this business environment of precipitous change with continued positive efforts to realize the “Convenience Store 3.0” era.