2.1. Seven Eleven USA
The Seven Eleven convenience store company was founded in 1927 in Dallas, USA, by the Southland Corporation. It had been very successful in the US. In 2007 it was the largest chain store in the world.
It was however in 1973, some forty years after the first store in the US that Toshifumi Suzuki was ready to meet with possible shareholders by proposing an innovative and forward-looking strategy.
2.2. Japan in 1973
From the 1960s to the 1980s, overall economic growth in Japan had been called a "miracle": a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s and a 4% average in the 1980s.
But even though the Japanese economy was blooming in the beginning of the seventies Japan, as some Western counties, suffered from serious oil crisis in 1973. The crisis was a major factor in Japan's economy shifting away from oil-intensive industries and resulted in huge Japanese investments in industries like electronics. Japan fared particularly well in the aftermath of the crisis compared to other oil-importing developed nations. Japanese automakers led the way in an ensuing revolution in car manufacturing. The large automobiles of the 1950s and 1960s were replaced by far more compact and energy efficient models.
In the cities, most people lived in apartments or housing corporations. Land and real estate prices were very high (although not as high as during the famous Japanese asset prise bubble (1983-1990) and people started to move more to the suburbs. Many people commuted for hours to work and within the cities public transportation was heavily used. Unemployment rate was relatively low, Japan has