Column  Finance and the Social Security System  2020.11.09

【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.298: The convenience store industry has been hit hard by COVID-19

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.


The number of convenience stores, which was always on the rise, decreased for the first time in 2019 (Figure 1). This suggests that the placement of convenience stores has reached a saturated level. Despite this decrease, the total sales increased by 1.7% in 2019 compared to those in 2018 (Figure 2). However, due to the restraint of socio-economic activities to prevent the rise of COVID-19 cases, sales have significantly declined since March 2020 compared to figures from the previous year (Figure 3).

Figure 1 Number of convenience stores


Source: Japan Franchise Association

Figure 2 Total sales of convenience stores


Source: Japan Franchise Association

Figure 3 Rate of change of monthly sales in convenience store throughout 2020


Source: Japan Franchise Association