Rachid Labzioui – 7-11 in Taiwan
I was a lucky one to be part of an interesting trip to Taiwan with my EMBA cohort that was meant to visit a few companies that stand out in the Taiwanese economy. But what caught my attention the most is what we see here as a normal operation. It was 7/11 stores.
They are everywhere! I mean everywhere. In every corner, shopping plaza, department store, across from each other’s. They are the incarnation of CONVENIENCY by excellence.
During my short stay in Taipei, I probably ran into about a few dozens of them and of course had to be one of the customers.
Expect from gas, at least in the ones I came across, you can find an array of goods and services way beyond what we are used to here in the US.
From subway tickets to concert reservations to dry cleaning services to traffic fines and utilities bill payment to even sit down meals. They also deliver everything from household appliances to multicourse banquets with all kind of Taiwanese delicacies. Of course, in addition to most of the items we find here in the US.
I was startled by one thing. Why so successful? I learned there are more than 4800 stores in Taiwan. 6200 customers per store compared to the US with more than 47000 potential shoppers per outlet.
Talking competition, Family Mart is one of them, but as the Taiwanese people mentioned, they will go to Family Mart if they have to but when 7-11 is present, there is no contest.
So what is 7-11 has done to reach this level of popularity amongst the Taiwanese consumers? Of course having stores in the right spots, having a tightly controlled distribution chain, a one stop shop for all needs, are all the answers in regards to a traditional marketing initiative. But what makes Taiwanese people love 7-11?
Some say that it comes from a busy lifestyle, giving rise to a workaholic lonely hearts who don’t know how to cook so 7-11 is the answer.
Others say because it is clean, well lit, organized and spacious, it attracts more shoppers who are money conscious who could easily find better deals in local outlets but still choose to go to 7-11.
It seems that 7-11 has done what’s right to conquer Taiwan. It hit a nerve with the younger generations even more offering them a clean space, even temporarily, in a country where space is scarce.