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    Family Mart Devises Plan to Serve Tsunami-Hit Japanese Region

    Chain to operate mobile convenience stores by the end of the month.

    TOKYO, Japan -- Family Mart, Japan's biggest convenience store chain, is going mobile in an effort to serve tsunami-ravaged areas of Japan. The c-store chain is setting up mobile stores in the northeast Tohoku region, worst hit by the March 11 tragedy.

    According to the Daily Telegraph, Family Mart will have three mobile convenience store trucks operating throughout the region later this month, with plans to have as many as 100 trucks in its fleet next year.

    The mobile convenience stores, known as "konbini" in Japan, are intended to be similar to a brick-and-mortar location; for example, the shelving and baskets will be the same. The trucks can hold up to 300 individual household items, including noodles and soft drinks.

    A power generator allows the trucks to operate for a week without refueling. They are powered by propane gas and designed to preserve vegetables and other perishable items.

    The mobile stores will stop in the three locations per day and operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers can also place orders and pick them up at a later date.

    "We hope to support recovery in disaster-hit areas and also, in [the] future, support areas where it is currently inconvenient for shopping," a Family Mart spokeswoman told the Daily Telegraph.

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