28 Jan 2016
Hyper-localised Services Pay Dividends for Taiwan Convenience Stores
FamilyMart looks to partnerships and add-on services to customise a number of its Taiwanese outlets.
FamilyMart, one of Taiwan's largest convenience store groups, is now actively looking to customise certain outlets in accordance with specific hyper-local requirements. In line with this policy, it has now opened an in-store pharmacy facility in a store set close to one of Taipei's largest hospitals.
In order to comply with Taiwanese legal requirements, this store has a special permit allowing it to sell over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and also employs a resident pharmacist. Customers may ask the pharmacist for advice on OTC drugs before making a purchase and now have the facility to buy medical items, such as painkillers, on a 24-hour basis.
In a similar move, the Japanese-owned group has installed a small kitchen in one of its outlets set in a business district. This new facility – managed in partnership with the Tokyo-based Yoshinoya fast food group – allows the store to serve hot food to the many office workers based in its immediate vicinity. At present, the store is offering just one item from Yoshinoya's menu – gyudon (beef bowls) – although this may be extended at a later date. Although a number of Taiwanese convenience stores have sold microwaved food in the past, this is believed to be the first time such an outlet has offered cooked-to-order dishes.
In a further bid to woo office workers, a number of FamilyMart outlets are also working with Tanhou, one of Taiwan's leading suppliers of organic fresh food. This has seen the introduction of a number of gourmet supermarket-style stores, all selling more than 400 varieties of vegetables, meats and fruits. These chosen stores also feature a Tanhou Fresh Food Bar, where customers can pick up freshly-prepared lunch boxes, cooked foods, fruit juices and fresh bread. The lunch boxes and the cooked food options are all prepared with fresh ingredients supplied by Tanhou. They are designed to appeal to office workers in the nearby business districts, as well as to health-conscious stay-home diners with a penchant for organic foodstuffs.
According to FamilyMart, all of these variations on the traditional convenience store format have led to an increase in trade for the participating outlets. In light of this, the company is committed to pursuing this strategy, while also looking for suitable partners for future crossover initiatives.
Sylvia Yeh, Taiwan Office