What is going on in the world’s best convenience store?~Part 1~

Denmark is the smallest country with the most 7-ELEVEN shops among the Nordic countries.

You can see how small Denmark is by looking at the map.

Now, 7-ELEVEN has expanded into 18 countries around the world, including Japan.※1 Going into the store, we’ll realize that it is totally different from 7-ELEVEN we’re familiar with.

※1 as of 2022 (7-ELEVEN Official Site)


Since there are no elements of Japan in 7-ELEVEN in Denmark, my friends don’t know 7-ELEVEN logo has owned by the Seven & i Group, a Japanese company. Have you heard 7-ELEVEN Denmark won the award as a convenience chain with the world’s best convenience concept in 2019?

This article writes about “Is 7-ELEVEN owned by a Japanese company?”, “What is it like inside a 7-ELEVEN store in Denmark?” and more.

the History of 7-ELEVEN

The top3 convenience store chains in Japan are 7-ELEVEN, Family Mart and LAWSON.
Well, which convenience store chains opened the first convenience store in Japan?

The answer is Family Mart, which opened the store in 1973 followed by 7-ELEVEN in 1974 and LAWSON in 1975. In Japan, they faced the age of high economic growth.

(The answer is not 7-ELEVEN, though I’m mainly talking about 7-ELEVEN…)

Convenience stores became popular the postwar period in Japan, but the original one goes back even further.

An ice store in America

Convenience stores originate from ice shops in Texas opened in 1927, when people didn’t have electric refrigerators and needed ice to keep foods. They started selling foodstuffs like milk and eggs according to the wishes of the customers. ※2
In 1946, the name was changed to 7-ELEVEN.
※2 https://www.sej.co.jp/company/history/history_02.html(7-ELEVEN Official Site)

Then why is it owned by a Japanese company even though they were increasing the number of stores and sales?

The growing competition among convenience store chains and Black Monday made its financial situation worse. In contrast, 7-ELEVEN Japan was growing so rapidly that it got 70% of Southland corporation’s share. In 2005, the company became wholly-owned subsidiary of 7-ELEVEN Japan.

Overseas expansion, even to the Nordic countries

Now, the number of stores increased to over 70,000 around the world! ※3
※3 as of 2022

 https://www.7andi.com/company/history.html(7-ELEVEN Official Site)

It doesn’t mean that you can find them all over the world but America, Canada, Mexico, the Asian countries, Australia and the Nordic countries.

I wonder why 7-ELEVEN cannot enter the other European counries…

Anyway, how 7-ELEVEN could expand overseas?

In fact, in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, 7-ELEVEN stores are owned by Reitan Retail, one of the biggest supermarket chain in Denmark and Norway, not by 7-Eleven Inc.. That means Reitan Retail bought the rights to use the 7-ELEVEN brand. Therefore, they are an expert in the market in their own countries and show the originality.

Next, let’s explore 7-ELEVEN Denmark!

So Danish!

You can feel Denmark all around the store.

Pastry, feeling like being in a bakery

When I went into the shop, it smelled cinnamon roll. You know, speaking of Denmark, they like Danish pastry! Danish and croissants are displayed on the shelves.

Even doughnuts, cake and muffins are in the showcase and they have vegan options, while it is still not common in Japan.

The one you should try is a bread in which pulp left in the process of making juice is used. They are produced by Jalm&B, a Danish organic craft bakery, collaborated with Frankly Juice, an organic cold-pressed juice maker. It can reduce food waste and build a circular food system.

As you can see, 7-ELEVEN is taking a leadership in developing new sustainable products getting other companies involved.

They value “Good for everyone” and “Good for the future” in Denmark, not “Good for just myself” and “Good for this moment”. In terms of food industry, price and taste are not the only important things.

<About the companies>
●Frankly Juice
●Jalm & B

Seven cafe, saving the world!

This is the self-service cafe and you can get special coffee here.

What is special about?
1. fair-trade coffee
2. with organic fresh milk
3. in 100% plant-based cups

Fair-trade coffee has been served in 7-ELEVEN Australia since 2022, by the way. ※4 

 https://www.7eleven.com.au/products/drinks/coffee/fairtrade-coffee.html (7-ELEVEN Australia Official Site)
Hopefully fair-trade coffee become normal in Japan soon…!

Besides, let me talk about “organic”.

The word “okologisk” means “organic” in the picture on the right. Organic foods are expensive in Japan and many people might think they cannot afford to buy them every day.

However, you can find lots of organic foods that are not too expensive in supermarkets in Denmark. It is natural if you know that Danish consumers are world champions at organic consumption.

It’s not that I am an expert in agriculture, I guess organic farming is difficult in Japan because of hot and humid weather preferred by weeds and pests.

Still, I am impressed that Danish people have high consciousness concerning their health and protecting the natural environment.

Continued in the next post

About Part 2

There’s so much to mention that I cannot finish writing in this post. These are the list I would write about next.

★7-ELEVEN’s foods, beverage and snacks
★Featured product
★Things you can get only in Japan, not in Denmark
★What will convenience stores be in the near future?

My everyday life diary ~So many carrots!~

Here is my everyday life diary, not about convenience stores.
As I mentioned, there are a lot of organic food in supermarkets. The carrots I bought yesterday was organic, or rather there was no non-organic carrots.

What should I do with 1kg carrots? My answer is grilled carrots!

They had natural sweetness and didn’t need any salt or pepper. I loved it.

Vi ses ♪

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