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Dissatisfaction in Gr aponia. One corner, two 7-eleven

HIGASHI-OSAKA, Japan Aponia – Beyond Japan Aponia, it may seem that there is a 7-Eleven in every corner.

There are now two in a corner in the working-class suburb of Osaka.

The unusual couple is probably the latest manifestation of the whim of one of the most powerful companies in Ud Aponia:, probably one of its most stubborn people.

Privileged Mitoshi Matsumoto was driving one of the two 7-Elevens until the chain terminated his contract in 2019 when he dared to reduce his working hours. For more than a year, his store was empty as he և 7-Eleven fought in court over control of the store. Not having a full view, the company decided to stop. It built the second store in the former Matsumoto parking lot.

The outcome of the conflict will determine not only who wants to sell rice balls և cigarette asphalt փոքրիկ from a small package of concrete. It could also have serious repercussions on the reputation of 7-Eleven in the tens of thousands of Japan Aponia franchise stores that are so ubiquitous in a chain of stores that the government considers it critical to national infrastructure in emergencies.

The 7-eleven surprisingly extended the match against Matsumoto. It hired a team of private investigators to watch his store for months, collecting video footage that the company claims shows him hitting one customer in the head and attacking another in a flying car. It also filed a complaint against him, including one for “meme mayonnaise” intricate gifts. And now it says it plans to charge him for building a second store next to it.

The company claims it sued Matsumoto simply because he was a bad franchisee. But he insists it is no coincidence that the company’s view is sharply dashed after he said he would oppose his tough demand that stores remain open around the clock.

Prior to his seemingly small rebellion, the company considered him a working model. He was praised, among others, for having the highest sales of steamed pork cookies in his region.

Following his decision, 7-Eleven threatened his business, eventually cut off supplies, and sued to seize the store. Matsumoto said that by its actions the company sends a message to other franchisors. “The protruding nail is cut with a hammer.

The fight in the Osaka courtroom will have repercussions for the remaining major benefits of 7-Eleven և Japan Aponia, which controls the vast majority of the country’s more than 50,000 stores. The 7-eleven account for almost 40% of them, and its business practice, for better or worse, has long been regarded as an industry standard.

“The outcome of this trial will have a huge impact,” said Naoki Uch Uchia, a professor of economics at Tokyo Musash University. “The loss would have hit the company hard,” but the gain “would have shifted the balance of power from the privileged to the corporate headquarters.”

Matsumoto ran one of its first 7-Elevens from 2012 to the end of 2019. Located on a busy street near one of the region’s largest private universities, the store has been closed for 16 months, collecting atmospheric, dark dust.

The second 7-Eleven, which is a scaled-down version of the neighborhood store, is being built as a service to the neighborhood, the company said after residents expressed concern that the empty store was a security issue. The new store has a mixed appearance of temporary apartments resulting from a natural disaster. When the final touches are activated in the coming days, it will work via 7-Eleven 24 hours a day.

During the seven years that Matsumoto operated his 7-Eleven, he faithfully met the demands of day-to-day operations that increase corporate profits but can be costly for franchisors who incur labor costs. However, the pace became unstable as aid became more difficult and more expensive, a problem that was exacerbated by the death of his wife in the spring of 2018 from cancer.

In February 2019, he announced that he would close his store every day from 1 am to 6 am. The eleven began to pressure him to return to all-day activities. Matsumoto, who is proud of his stubborn, simple words, did not lag behind.

He visited the media, described the harsh working conditions in the industry, including 12 days of his own working days. His story became nervous in a country where overcrowding is raging, sometimes fatal.

7-His willingness to criticize Eleven in a way that most other franchisors would not have known him. It also sheds light on the hidden costs of super-comfort in ult aponia, where convenience stores cater to the daily needs of life, often kept as symbols of the country’s remarkable efficiency, and customer service.

7-Eleven stood for shorter hours during their clash with Matsumoto. But his relationship with the company, which has always had some problems, reached a turning point in October 2019, when he announced that the store will be completely closed for one day – New Year.

In late December, 7-Eleven informed him that it would cancel his contract until he took uncertain action to restore the “relationship of trust”. That gave him 10 days.

The company said it answers two questions. One, Matsumoto, attacked it on social media. Two, he has filed hundreds of customer complaints. (He would later claim, without providing evidence, that this is the largest number of any Aponia store). He said it was the first time the company had ever brought the issue to its attention, he said. The company denies this.

The first complaint came months after the store opened. Matsumoto և his wife was kidnapped in the neighborhood with leaflets, promising a “memory mayonnaise” squeeze tube to any customer who appeared on the first day.

The mayonnaise ran out in hours, և Matsumoto said at the end that hundreds of buyers would return later that week to demand their gift. More than a month later, a disgruntled customer tried to cash in on the IOU, but later refused to file a violent complaint.

Other complaints range from serious allegations, blaming customers to petty riots. The dossier also contains a number of complaints about salaries and working conditions received from former employees in response to some complaints from Matsumoto about 7-Eleven.

Matsumoto does not pretend that everything in his shop is perfect. For years, he fought fiercely over his parking lot, where other business customers often left their cars for hours without much gratitude.

According to Japanese aponic standards, Matsumoto’s presence is a bit rough. People line up. They cross the street against the light. They are not afraid to give the owner of a comfortable store a piece of their mind.

He gave as much as he received, he willingly confessed that he was not popular among the neighbors. On more than one occasion, the shouting game in the parking lot ended with a call to the police. “They were always there for him,” said Matsumoto.

7-Eleven was not particularly interested in accidental explosions, but then, when he announced that it would close soon, he became very interested in them.

In the summer of 2019, the company hired private investigators to store the inserts in the Matsumoto store, the court wrote. Sitting in a nearby building, they secretly filmed the entrance and exit of the store for months.

The result is the apparent resistance of 7-Eleven. Five videos of what looks like a confrontation between Matsumoto տարբեր different parking customers և. Two of the company said it was a flying blow to the back of the car, but it was difficult to identify most of the blurred shots in court.

Another video shows Matsumoto raising his head in a white van. Two men crawling nearby are secretly encrypting the altercation, and the company cuts out variegated footage from their booths with a video from the balcony above the Matsumoto store to give the exchange some perspective.

When asked for comment, a 7-Eleven representative briefed reporters on the company’s lawsuits.

Matsumoto’s legal team has years of experience in court against a chain store, but one of its lawyers, Takayuki Kida, said that “there are not many cases of end-of-war when 7-Eleven is designed to crush someone. »

It is easy to see why, said Tsu Uchia, a professor at Musashi University. Matsumoto’s focus has already helped bring about change in the industry.

In September, a large-scale study by the Japan Aponia Fair Trade Commission found that the 24-day policy of the in-store industry was unstable, and ordered stores to give owners more flexibility or take legal action.

Under the pressure of 7, Eleven increased the share of franchisors in revenue և, during the epidemic, showed a softer position during working hours. It is unclear how far the changes will go or whether the regulators will back down from their threat.

Matsumoto is puzzled by 7-Eleven’s decision to build a new store next to it. “Everyone forgot about me,” he said during a recent site visit. “Now they have pushed me back from the news.”

As he watched the crane excavate, the passing cyclist stopped to give a few words of encouragement, urging Matsumoto not to let the “big boys” in.

Last year, according to Matsumoto, the company offered him 10 million yen, or more than $ 92,000, to dismiss the case. The court encouraged him to accept the offer. But he was not interested. Now the company is trying the opposite approach. Its lawyers said they would charge him 30 million yen to build the new store.

“Way is the same for him anyway,” said Matsumoto. “It’s not about money,” he said. “We are talking about something bigger.”

The same could be said for 7-Eleven. The sign placed in front of the construction site summarizes everything. The building is temporary.

To win or lose, the company plans to tear it to the ground.

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