Friday, August 21, 2009

Convenient Stores

One of the first things you are likely to notice upon first arriving in Taiwan is the ubiquitous convenient store.  They’re everywhere!

As this link relates, “Taiwan has the highest concentration of convenience stores in the world. Few people in Taiwan can make it through the day without entering either a 7-11, OK or Family Mart and hearing the customary "Welcome!".

The first time I took a bus by myself in densely-populated Taipei County to visit Canadian coworkers when I arrived in Taiwan in 1997, my coworkers told me to get off when I saw the 7-11. Oops!

7-Eleven by far has the largest market share (4,000 outlets in 2008).  Family Mart (全家) is second with  2,324 stores. Hi-Life is third with 1,236 stores, followed by OK Mart with 824 (Taiwan Times).

By far most of these are franchised outlets, but there still remain a few privately-owned English-challenged family businesses, such as the one I photographed below yesterday.



Amrita said...

What kinds of products are sold in them?

Taiwan Prattler said...

Pretty much everything... at a little higher than usual price.