Aeon's Hiroshima Unit to End 24-Hour Supermarkets

Economy

Hiroshima, March 5 (Jiji Press)--Maxvalu Nishinihon Co. <8287>, a Hiroshima-based subsidiary of retail giant Aeon Co. <8267>, plans to end 24-hour supermarket operations on March 21.

The move is aimed at coping with serious labor shortages at its stores, Maxvalu Nishinihon has said.

The company currently operates a total of 182 stores in western Japan prefectures, mainly Hyogo and Hiroshima.

Of the total, 25 stores are open 24 hours a day. The company said it found cases there in which staff were too busy restocking shelves with products and other work to deal with shoppers not only late at night, but also during the busy hours.

In addition to ending the around-the-clock operations, Maxvalu Nishinihon will shorten opening hours at other outlets. Instead, the company will focus on improving services, such as cutting the waiting time at cash registers, it said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press