Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2005 (Revised February 2011)

Tanpin Kanri: Retail Practice at Seven-Eleven Japan

by Rajiv Lal and Arar Han

Abstract

Toshifumi Suzuki, chairman and CEO of Seven and I Holding Co., was widely credited as the mastermind behind Seven-Eleven Japan's spectacular rise. Although Seven-Eleven Japan began as a small licensee of U.S. convenience store chain 7-Eleven, Inc. (then Southland Corp.) in 1974, it grew to become the highest grossing retailer in Japan, eclipsing its then-parent Ito-Yokado's sales. By 2005, it also owned a controlling stake in 7-Eleven, Inc. Over the years, Suzuki's emphasis on fresh merchandise, innovative inventory management techniques, and numerous technological improvements guided Seven-Eleven Japan's rapid growth. At the core of these lies Tanpin Kanri, Suzuki's signature management framework.

Keywords: Framework; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Practices and Processes; Demand and Consumers; Distribution; Logistics; Technology; Retail Industry; Japan;

Citation:

Lal, Rajiv, and Arar Han. "Tanpin Kanri: Retail Practice at Seven-Eleven Japan." Harvard Business School Case 506-002, July 2005. (Revised February 2011.)