A well-known international brand has disappeared from Southeast Asia’s largest economy. 7-Eleven convenience stores operate in 18 countries around the world—with more than half of the in the Asia Pacific. But the stores are no longer in Indonesia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.
Just a few years ago, 7-Eleven’s were booming in Indonesia.
Nearly 200 stores were in operation, most of them in the capital city of Jakarta.
The South China Morning Post reports a number of factors made the stores popular – especially with a younger demographic.
There was the free Wi-Fi, hot meals with 24-hour indoor seating, beer, and even the ability to pay utility bills.
But success brought competition, and quickly, as other mini-marts popped up offering the same services.
Two years ago, a regulatory change: alcohol sales were banned at convenience stores.
According to the ratings agency Fitch, that instantly sank about 15 percent of the company’s revenues.
The national franchise holder tried to sell the business to a Thai conglomerate, but the deal fell apart.
7-Eleven may be familiar as an American brand, but the parent company is Japanese—and has been for more than 25 years.
In fact, out of roughly 60,000 7-Eleven stores around the world, nearly a third of them are in Japan.
Seven and I holdings is the parent company—and executives there tell reporters the convenience store is not finished in Indonesia, but the search for a new local partner continues.