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Seventy thousand chains, profits are comparable to Ali Tencent, the fact tells us: the real economy has never withered!


Many start-ups are keen to take shortcuts and wait for the wind to come. Entity stores can't blame e-commerce. E-commerce can't do micro-commerce well. They always dream of achieving explosive growth at the lowest cost and the fastest speed. 7-Eleven has long focused on just one thing, but has become the world's largest retailer.

Today's selected article, although a bit long, is very enlightening.

Someone knowingly told a story about Japan:

Once I bought a box lunch at 7-Eleven, my favorite cowpea pork shredded pork rib potato rice, because I was afraid that 7-Eleven would pour it out according to the store rules, and deliberately slowed the watch by 5 minutes.

7-Eleven's clever shopkeeper saw through me, opened the lid, and fell!

Although I am very sad and angry, as an ordinary consumer, I believe more in his quality after this incident.


Today, when the Internet mercilessly shocks physical stores, the 44-year-old 7-Eleven has maintained a strong growth.

In 2016, Alibaba, with 36,000 employees, generated profits of 42.7 billion yuan, with a per capita profit of 117,000 yuan.

The 7-Eleven, with 8,000 employees, generated a profit of 1.16 million yuan per capita in the same year, which is comparable to Alibaba.

What is the level of 7-Eleven's profitability in the industry? At present, the most profitable retailers in China are Gaoxin Retail (including Darunfa and Osang), followed by Yonghui Supermarket.

7-Eleven creates four times as much profit as Gaoxin and six times as much profit as Yonghui.

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So far, 7-Eleven has opened more than 70,000 stores in the world, becoming the largest retail entity in the world.

Moreover, 7-Eleven basically does not have its own direct stores, factories, or even distribution centers!

7-Eleven was not originally Japanese, but an American ice company, er.

In 1927, the Southern Continental Ice Company was founded in Texas, which was the predecessor of 7-Eleven.

The South China Ice Company has an unwritten rule: it operates 16 hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and closes. That's why the company was renamed 7-Eleven later.

The main business of the Southern Continental Ice Company is to sell ice cubes, and also to buy some bread, hot dogs, boiled brine eggs and other daily necessities, which is also the germination of the world convenience stores.

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In 1946, the South China Company was formally changed to 7-Eleven, and the world retail history entered the era of convenience stores.

When Suzuki Minwen, a 31-year-old Japanese, joined Itoyo Huatang, a Japanese retail group, in 1963, he knew nothing about retailing.

Earlier, in 1956, Suzuki had just graduated from college, majoring in psychology. His first job was as an intern in a publishing and selling company, sorting out books or selling them to nearby bookstores.

At that time, he might not have thought that he would become a decisive person in the history of world retail.

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Although I am very sad and angry, as an ordinary consumer, I believe more in his quality after this incident.

In 1973, Suzuki won the US 7-Eleven franchise in Japan after arduous negotiations, and formally founded Japan 7-Eleven the following year.

That year, Minwen Suzuki was just 40 years old, which was a late bloomer.

In March 1991, 7-Eleven Japan acquired 73% of the U.S. 7-Eleven and became its largest shareholder.

As the leader of 7&I Group and the founder of 7-Eleven in Japan, Suzuki has a unique perspective in retailing: psychology.

In Suzuki's own words, "Consumption is a psychological war".

Two classic cases are cited.

Case 1: why do we return the 5% consumption tax activities to more than 10%?

In 1989, Suzuki proposed to the board of directors to launch a 5% consumption tax return promotional campaign in Ito Yanghua Hall. Everyone thought the proposal was ridiculous at that time, because the Japanese economy was in a downturn and no one was interested in the 10% reduction in the price of goods on the market.

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And SUZUKI believes that customers at that time complained mainly about the rise in the consumption tax. If the consumption tax was introduced, the effect of returning the consumption tax would be more powerful than the direct reduction.

Facts have proved that Suzuki is right. After the launch of the event, customers responded enthusiastically. The turnover increased by 75% year-on-year. A week later, the company decided to push the event to the whole country.

This case tells us that sometimes the best marketing is to seize the pain points of users and find out the right demands of users.

Case 2: Why is the price of 7-Eleven's rice balls twice that of its peers or is the supply in short supply?

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At that time, because of deflation, many companies in Japan launched low-priced rice balls of 100 yen in order to compete for customers. 7-Eleven's head of product research and development also suggested that the company do so.

But Suzuki believes that: compared with the price, whether the product has new value is the key to determine the purchase. Finally, the 7-Eleven rice balls, priced at 200 yuan, are on the market. While creating new tastes, they are accompanied by exquisite packaging. They are held in your hands and eaten in your mouth. This kind of high-priced dough will soon be in short supply.

This case shows that sometimes what you think of as user needs is wrong from the beginning! Less conformity, more conformity to their own hearts, in order to find the real market demand.

Unlike many disguised 7-Eleven, which are scattered about 10 square meters in domestic metro stations and lack of variety, Japan's 7-Eleven has established the purpose of serving users from the very beginning: where the users'needs are, where the products and services are.

In fact, if we have seen the documentary of Erichiro Ono, the God of sushi in Japan, we will find that many well-known enterprises in Japan really make some money while providing services.

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Looking back at the history of 7-Eleven's groping for user experience, you have no reason not to respect it.

In fact, at first, 7-Eleven was the same as convenience stores that offered some simple necessities. However, the value of 7-Eleven is to pay close attention to Japanese living habits, thereby continuously and creatively launching special rice balls, sandwiches, Guandong cooking and other popular products in the market:

7-Eleven became the first convenience store to offer microwave ovens, considering that office workers had nowhere to heat up their lunches.

7-Eleven began to support takeout because of the demand for takeout in many office buildings.

Later, 7-Eleven's service scope extended to more than 50 service forms, including purchase of movie tickets, payment of water fees, withdrawal, delivery of couriers, insurance, photocopying, certificates and licenses, and order-taking from Uniqlo online.

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What is more difficult to understand is that Suzuki feels it is an inevitable trend to install ATM in stores, considering customers'need for cash.

Instead of simply installing an ATM with a bank, you apply for a bank license and open a 7-Eleven self-owned bank in your store!

As a result, users often patronize 7-Eleven while withdrawing money. After several years of losses, 7-Eleven Bank has made profits.

Why are user-oriented convenience stores like this unsuccessful?

Over the years, the quality of 7-Eleven has not changed, but Suzuki's Internet thinking has changed.

Suzuki said that he had always remembered that "there will be a day when the business will become old-fashioned".

The way he copes with old fashions is statistics. This is due to Suzuki's frequent use of statistics in publishing houses.

Because of its natural sensitivity to data, Suzuki has created a well-known 7-Eleven data-driven single product management model and a data-based "hypothesis-execution-verification" working model.

This is also the main reason why 7-Eleven keeps operating efficiently and gains high profits.

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7-Eleven is also Japan's first company to introduce POS machine. The introduction of POS system also makes 7-Eleven do much better than its counterparts in controlling product dynamics and balancing revenue and expenditure.

Therefore, 7-Eleven's success, first of all, is that he has an old mentality to lead the way, and secondly, it has an inner insistence: adhere to customer-centered, adhere to the convenience of others at the same time convenient themselves.

On the contrary, some of our current enterprises have come to a dead end in many places.

First, there are really not so many tuyere industries in the world.

Many start-ups are keen to take shortcuts and wait for the wind to come. Entity stores can't blame e-commerce, e-commerce can't do well and other micro-businesses. They always fantasize about achieving explosive growth at the lowest cost and the fastest speed. 7-Eleven has long focused on just one thing, but has become the world's largest retailer.

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Second, the concept of hype is not as good as polishing quality.

Nowadays, many companies spend a lot of energy on marketing, and sometimes use some concepts to hype, but this will only form a short-term effect, but can not fundamentally let the product into the hearts of the people. 7-Eleven seldom works on marketing, but because of the long-term polishing of products, it is self-defeating.

Third, do not use data as a tool.

Now some Internet companies have hundreds of millions of user data in their hands, but for them, data is only a tool, while for 7-Eleven, the purpose of data is to provide better services.

It is undeniable that we are in an era of relative material surplus. If we do not "induce" consumers to consume, we are likely to be forgotten in this era. But innovation may bring short-term benefits, but it is not the long-term way for enterprises.

Suzuki Minwen, on the other hand, has spent 44 years opening his physical stores from one to 70,000, and tells you that as long as he works hard, the real economy will never grow old, nor will it ever fade away! _________

The article was translated from Public Number: Sales and Management

Source: E-commerce Newspaper (ID: Kangdian Shanghai)

Author: E-commerce Jun