Business & Policy

The Konbini Are Coming! Japanese Convenience Store Culture Takes on America Podcast

Shiro Inoue.

April 17, 2008

Shiro Inoue
, Chairman, Famima Corporation
Gavin Whitelaw, Postdoctoral Fellow, Reischauer Institute for Japan Studies, Harvard University
William V. Rapp, Henry J. Leir Professor of International Trade and Business, The New Jersey Institute of Technology’s School of Management

Chester Dawson
, Senior Vice President, SPARX Investment & Research, USA, LLC

Somewhere between fast-food purveyor and upscale grocer, between banking center and bookstore lies the realm of the Japanese "konbini." Long catering to Japan's round-the-clock gastronomic, entertainment and banking needs, the Japanese convenience model offers much from which its American counterparts can learn. Famima!!, the U.S. offshoot of Japan's FamilyMart, is the first company to introduce the konbini model to the U.S. and seeks to build as many as 200 outlets on the West Coast by 2009. Our distinguished speakers examine konbini's cultural influences in the U.S. and discuss whether a business model synonymous with Japan's legendary customer service, efficiency and high quality can be successfully transplanted into America's cultural diversity.

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