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    Japan's Circle K launches girls' club of convenience stores.

    TOKYO, Japan -- Circle K Sunkus Co., operator of Circle K stores in the U.S. and Japan, opened its first convenience store chain here that caters to women. Called Fork Talk, the store is located in front of Tokyo station in central Tokyo, the International Business Times reported.

    The new concept hosts a bakery, a light cooking space, serving tables and merchandise geared towards the needs and wants of females. The store serves pasta and pastries, and carries less snacks and caffeinated drinks than a typical convenience store. In addition, the store does not sell men's magazines -- one of the more profitable items in Japan's convenience stores, the Business Times reported.

    The company expects to see six female customers to every four males. The normal ratio of men to women customers in Japan's convenience industry is seven men for every three women, the newspaper reported. Kiyoshi Hijikata, Circle K's president in Japan, expects foot traffic to approach 1,100 people and sales of 750,000 yen or $6,365 each day. In Japan, the average daily sales at a typical c-store are 470,000 yen or $3,989.

    "The new chain is still a sample for our experiment," said Hijikata at a press conference last week. One more store will open in February of next year, he added.

    In other international news, 7-Eleven Southern China opened its first franchised store in Shenzhen, China through a joint venture with Dairy Farms. 7-Eleven Southern China currently operates 253 company-owned stores in the country, and wants to add to this number with its plan to utilize franchise opportunities across the region.

    "We are delighted to have the government's approval to open our first franchise store in Shenzhen. We believe the community will benefit from the introduction of the franchise program, and we look forward to sharing our experience with new franchisees," said Ed Chan, Dairy Farm’s regional director for North Asia.

    7-Eleven Southern China is operated through joint venture, GuangDong Sai Yi Convenience Stores Ltd. – in which Dairy Farm holds a 65 percent interest.

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