– Hey guys, this is how 7-Eleven took over Japan,
and how Japan took over 7-Eleven.
There are probably a small handful of you that have no idea what 7-Eleven is,
but a majority of the people watching this video,
at least if I am to believe our YouTube analytics,
have probably seen a store just like this one.
7-Eleven is an iconic global convenience store chain,
and is one of the largest physical retailers in the world,
at least by number of locations.
To be exact, there are over 68,000 stores in 17 countries,
which is more stores out of any other
retail chain in the world by a significant chunk.
By comparison, the second place chain
has only 42,000 locations worldwide.
And I’ll let you take a guess at what it is.
– [Narrator] Delicious new Chipotle
Southwest Steak and Cheese.
– Eating fresh. ♪ Eat fresh ♪
♪ 吃得新鲜 ♪
By the way, I’m less hungry now that I ate that.
The most interesting tidbit about
those 68,000 7-Eleven locations, however,
is that the majority of them are actually located in Japan.
Over 20,000 of them to be precise.
In fact, this makes 7-Eleven
the largest convenience store chain in the country,
which is a big deal considering
how much Japan loves its convenience stores.
Most people associate convenience stores
as place to grab a snack or something to drink,
but in Japan, they take it to the next level.
There you might grab lunch or dinner,
and not just those hot dogs that
look like they’ve been there forever.
But you can do so much more than just get food,
like buying and printing tickets
to concerts, events, or attractions,
grab cash from an international ATM,
and even pay your bills and taxes.
Hell, most of them even have bathrooms and public WiFi
It’s basically a one-stop shop
and 7-Eleven is at the very top of it all .
But how did they get to this point?
7-Eleven began in the US in 1927
under a different name: Southland Ice Company,
which, as the name implies, was focused on
selling ice to customers in the Dallas area.
Southland Ice employee John Jefferson Green,
or Uncle Johnny as he was known, had a brainwave.
-[Matt]That’s a really creepy name
– It is, like Daddy Matty.
Uncle Johnny used one of the company’s
21 ice storefronts to sell basic goods
such as eggs, milk, and bread.
Super basic items that people would
normally have to get at the grocery store.
The limited stock of Uncle Johnny’s store
made it much easier to restock imperishable items.
– [Matt] Would you say his store was convenient?
– Funny you mention that because
that is the basis of the convenience store.
– [Matt] Oh!
– [Matt] 喔！
– See what we did there?
That’s, yeah, we did that.
Southland continued to improve on the convenience store,
enforcing quality control between locations
and even opening up gas stations
as cars were becoming more and more common.
The biggest update came in 1946
when they changed their store hours,
opening from 7 a.m. and closing at 11 p.m.,
hence the name 7-Eleven.
This might not seem like a big deal now,
but it was certainly unprecedented back in the ’40s.
It was a busy night in–
– Austin, Texas.
– One of the 7-Eleven locations
in close proximity to the University of Texas
was swamped with customers after a football game.
So swamped, in fact, that between
the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. ,
they could not close.
That night was so successful that
the store started piloting staying open
24 hours during the weekends,
which eventually turned into staying open 24/7,
which spread to most of their stores.
In the early 1970s, 7-Eleven started branching out internationally
20世纪70年代初 711 开始向国际市场扩张
Understandably, it made sense to expand first to our
North American neighbors in Canada and Mexico.
But 7-Eleven also licensed the brand to a Japanese affiliate,
a department store chain called Ito Yokado.
At this point, 7-Eleven had over 5,000 locations worldwide.
That’s almost 4,000 locations opened in one decade’s time,
and on a global scale it’s absolutely insane.
In 1974, they opened their first
Japanese location in Tokyo.
It didn’t really take long for 7-Eleven Japan
to expand despite facing heavy competition
from other newly-formed entities,
such as FamilyMart and Lawson,
both of which are still major competitors to this day.
In 1976, 7-Eleven had 100 locations open in Japan,
and by 1980, it had over 1,000 stores
– [Austin] Japan is, not in fact, the entire world.
– It is to me.
7-Eleven Japan’s growth accelerated hard in the ’80s,
mostly due to advancements in technology,
retail innovation, and other buzzwords.
With major stores accumulating high sales volume,
paper inventory and bookkeeping were so cumbersome that it actually
took up lots of physical space.
And if you’ve been to Japan, some of those stores are tiny.
Space can be very valuable.
Instead, they invested in computerized
connected point of sale and inventory management systems
that took others almost a decade to roll out.
In the late ’80s, 7-Eleven’s operations
in the United States were in turmoil.
They had to sell off various assets
like their 50% stake in Citgo Gas,
and even liquidate some their urban locations to relieve debt.
Southland Corp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,
which it was able to escape in 1991
thanks to a $430,000,000 cash infusion
by selling 70% of 7-Eleven to their Japanese affiliate.
From there, 7-Eleven grew a lot, especially in Japan.
自那时 711迅速膨胀 尤其是在日本
By 2005, with about 6,000 locations in the US
and over 11,000 in Japan alone,
it was no surprise when Ito Yokado and 7-Eleven Japan
formed the basis of Seven & I Holdings.
And with that, 7-Eleven US officially became
the fully-owned subsidiary of 7-Eleven Japan.
Thank you guys for watching this episode of This Is.
If you wanna watch more,
there are some episodes down here,
especially here because this is another Japan one,
and I like those.
Also, don’t forget to like and subscribe
because if you don’t, Matt won’t get his free Slurpee today.
Because it’s 7-Eleven.
– [Matt] No!
– [马特] 不！
– Hey guys, this is how 7-Eleven took over Japan,