FTC Serious about Correcting Convenience Store Industry Practices

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fair Trade Commission has become serious about correcting business relations between convenience store chains and franchisees, feeling a strong sense of crisis about the latter's plight.

The antitrust watchdog has warned that chains' practices with franchisees, such as forcing them to open 24 hours a day, could amount to violation of the antimonopoly law and urged them to correct such practices.

Behind the warning was a belief in the FTC that franchisees' livelihoods would be threatened if they are forced to maintain existing levels of services amid labor shortages.

According to an FTC survey report, released on Wednesday, some 70 pct of the owners of franchise stores wanted a review of the 24-hour operation policy and over 50 pct said they had been forced by the chains to procure products in ways that were against their wishes.

The share of franchise store owners who had 10 days or less off in the past year stood at 63.2 pct, the report said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press