Inside FamilyMart’s latest convenience stores in Asia

Date : 12 April 2021

Charles Chan

Senior Retail Analyst

FamilyMart has opened several new convenience stores in Malaysia, the Philippines and Japan. We explain why each one is significant and what can be learned from FamilyMart.

The first FamilyMart drive-through in Malaysia

The pilot drive-through store is located at Berkeley Uptown, Klang, Selangor. Products such as oden (skewers of assorted items such as fish ball and tofu), bento, ice cream and soft drinks are available to order. Read more on drive-through convenience formats here.

Source: FamilyMart Malaysia

FamilyMart expands online delivery to Penang, Malaysia

Through its partnership with foodpanda and GrabFood, FamilyMart continues to expand its on-demand delivery coverage. More than 200 stores located in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Melaka and Penang offer delivery services. This is a significant proportion given that FamilyMart operate c.250 stores in Malaysia. Customers can also order via MY FamilyMart ONLINE and get products delivered to their homes or pick up in-store.

FamilyMart opened its first store in Malaysia in 2016 and had been focusing its operations in Kuala Lumpur. In recent years, however, the retailer has since grown its presence in other cities. It is now moving into neighbourhoods where rents are cheaper.

FamilyMart enters Perak, Malaysia

In January, FamilyMart opened its first store in Perak, a state in the north west of Malaysia.

Source: FamilyMart Malaysia

New FamilyMart stores often celebrate the launch with a one week special offer. Customers can enjoy 25% off: sofuto ice cream, brown sugar bubble milk tea, frappes and coffee.

Source: FamilyMart Malaysia

A new multipurpose forecourt in the Philippines

The first ‘Phoenix Block’ has been launched, bringing together all of Phoenix’s brands under one roof (a FamilyMart c-store, a Phoenix SUPER LPG hub, an Autoworx Plus car care shop, as well as a Wendy’s drive-thru and take-out booth). Phoenix Block Sucat Skyway spans more than 3,000 sq m, twice the size of standard Phoenix forecourts.

Henry Albert Fadullon, President of Phoenix, said, “The Phoenix Block is a great representation of what the Phoenix brand is today–more than just fuel.”

Source: FamilyMart Philippines

Last year, Phoenix launched its app-based loyalty and lifestyle rewards program called LIMITLESS. The program rewards shoppers with points and exclusive privileges for purchases at participating merchants. The app has an e-gift feature, as well as a ‘Communities’ function that allows members to join group chats based on their preferred location for buy-and-sell purposes. To promote the new Phoenix Block Sucat Skyway forecourt, customers were rewarded extra points during the first few days of opening.  

FamilyMart launches unstaffed payment solution in Japan

FamilyMart has partnered TOUCH TO GO (TTG) to install a new unstaffed payment system at a store located near Tokyo Station. The technology enables the store to require just one employee, using cameras on the ceiling and sensors on the shelves to determine what products customers have picked up. The store trades under the Famima banner and carries c.700 items, five-times fewer than a typical FamilyMart, but also one-third smaller at about 40 sq m.

Source: Japan Today / SoraNews24

Not quite fully frictionless…

Unlike ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, customers need to stand in a designated zone where the cost of their purchases are automatically calculated and shown on a touch screen checkout. They can then make payment like at any other convenience store (including cash). The self-service checkouts also have cameras linked to a screen in the back room, so an employee can verify the ages of customers purchasing alcohol.

Source: Japan Today / SoraNews24

Cashless payments and crucially adoption by shoppers in Japan has lagged other major markets. Government incentives and initiatives, plus COVID-19 has seen retailers increase investment in new payment solutions. Like FamilyMart, Kinokuniya has partnered TTG to launch its first unstaffed payment solution at KINOKUNIYA Sutto, a small supermarket at Mejiro Station. While retailers such as Daiei and Seiyu have been testing unstaffed stores and robot deliveries, respectively. The government targets cashless payments to be 40% of all transactions by 2025 verses 20% in 2016.

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