Number of convenience stores in Malaysia 2015-2017, by chain
Battle for the convenience store market
Malaysia’s convenience store sector still offers the big-name chain stores room for growth, unlike in other Asian markets like Thailand or Japan , both of which have a convenience store penetration of about 2,000 persons per store. This potential for growth has spurred FamilyMart, one of Japan’s largest convenient store retailers, to embark on an ambitious expansion plan of 300 stores by 2022, challenging 7-Eleven for a share of the convenience store retail space.
These ambitious expansion plans are however not without substantial challenges. The economy in 2019 is still sluggish, impacted by falling exports due to the on-going US-China trade war. Furthermore, the minimum wage in Malaysia is expected to increase in 2020, adding to the operating costs for the convenient stores. To improve sales and profits to counter these challenges, convenience stores in Malaysia have offered new products, such as ready-to-eat food, to attract more consumer spend.