Number of convenience stores in Taiwan up almost 5% in 2019: FTC
Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) The number of convenience stores in Taiwan grew in 2019 at the fastest pace in 14 years, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said Friday, indicating that the market for these ubiquitous stores has yet to be saturated.
There were 11,429 convenience stores in Taiwan as of the end of 2019, up 524, or 4.81 percent, from a year earlier, the fastest annual growth rate since 2006, the FTC said in a statement.
The figures were based on an FTC survey covering Taiwan's five major convenience store chains -- 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, OK Mart and Taiwan Sugar Corp.'s Million.
Based on a population of 23.60 million, one convenience store served 2,065 consumers on average in Taiwan, the second highest density in the world after South Korea's 1,205 but higher than Japan's 2,233, the FTC said.
Taiwan's six largest cities -- Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung -- which account for about 69 percent of the country's population, had 8,416 convenience stores at the end of 2019, or 73.64 percent of the total, the statement said.
New Taipei, Taiwan's most populous city, had 2,228 convenience stores, or 19.49 percent of the total.
That was the most of Taiwan's 22 cities and counties, ahead of Taipei (1,631), and Taichung (1,388), according to the statement.
But when asked by CNA, the FTC would not say which cities or counties saw the fastest convenience store growth in 2019.
The FTC survey found that consumers bought items at convenience stores about 130 times on average in 2019, and the average purchase was NT$82.6 (US$2.81), up NT$3.7 from a year earlier, a sign of the high consumer dependence on these stores, the FTC said.
The three most popular items in terms of sales value for convenience stores were tobacco, beverages and boxed meals/sandwiches, and hot food items, the FTC said.
7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Hi-Life, the three largest convenience store operators, accounted for more than 75 percent of all convenience stores and revenue in 2019, the statement said.
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