April 4, 2019 – Convenience store operator Seven-Eleven Japan Co. said today it will replace its president following a review of its longtime 24-hour operating policy amid a labor shortage.
Seven & I Holdings Co., the parent of Seven-Eleven Japan, said it has decided to replace Kazuki Furuya with vice president Fumihiko Nagamatsu, effective April 8, due to communication problems in the company.
“We are aware of the phenomenon in which information from the workplace was not shared smoothly with upper sections (in the company),” Ryuichi Isaka, president of the parent, told a press conference.
Furuya will become chairman of Seven-Eleven, the country’s largest convenience store chain operator.
The move comes with Seven-Eleven mired in a controversy over its 24-hour operating policy after one of its franchise owners cut the business hours at his store.
“As the business environment for individual stores varies greatly, I would like to consider a flexible response on operating hours that suits each store,” Nagamatsu said.
Seven-Eleven started trials of shorter opening hours in late March, while the industry minister also asked operators of major convenience store chains in Japan to address a severe labor shortage that is creating growing discontent among their struggling franchisees.