Tanpin Kanri: Retail Practice at Seven-Eleven Japan
Japan was a seller’s market until the 1970s, but as profits decline in the late 1980s, a buyer’s market began, necessitating reform in the retail industry. Reason for this shift was ownership of objects was very high among Japanese consumers. “Toshifumi Suzuki, Chairman and CEO of Seven & I Holding” Established in 1974 as a small licensee of 7-Eleven, Inc., Seven-Eleven Japan grew to become the leading convenience store in Japan by 2005 in terms of operating income and number of stores. They emphasize on fresh merchandise, innovative inventory management techniques, and numerous technological improvements. They growth had been very carefully planned, taking advantage of the core strengths that they had developed in the areas of information and distribution systems focusing on the convenience retail business as an operating company, devoted to responding to changes in expectations and demands from customers without deferring delivery. Seven-Eleven Japan stores differ totally from the U.S. in that it served as a convenient food center for busy professionals displaying an array of inexpensive, high quality food deliver daily. Seven-Eleven Japan has been able to put into practice a system name Tanpin Kanri as the core of their management framework. Tanpin Kanri is a marketing administration exercise dedicated on filling buyer demand through a store-by-store approach to shelf management that uses store-level human understanding and information sharing about products, for the purpose of well knowing how certain surroundings affect demand on a product-by-product basis, and then tracing a cycle of product gaining and delivery that suits the demand. It empowers retail clerks to tweak suggested assortments. These front lines workers are in a position to know how details like holidays, religion, the weather or a local sports events will impact the store, always having in mind how Japan’s residents...
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