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Japanese Ministop brand taps into Kazakhstan market

23 january 2013, 16:26
2
Photo courtesy of benmillionaire.com
Photo courtesy of benmillionaire.com
Chairman of RTS-MINISTOP Bayan Kospenbetova and Ministop President Nobuyuki Abe. Photo by Dmitriy Khegai©
Chairman of RTS-MINISTOP Bayan Kospenbetova and Ministop President Nobuyuki Abe. Photo by Dmitriy Khegai©
International network of combo stores under Ministop Japanese brand has entered the Kazakhstan market, Tengrinews.kz reports. The first combo store opened in Almaty on January 18.

In 2012 Kazakhstan company RTS Ltd and two Japanese companies established a joint venture. The partners signed an franchising agreement to Ministop brand to Kazakhstan.

According to chairman of RTS-MINISTOP Bayan Kospenbetova, the company has long-term plans. Another 15 combo-stores will open in Almaty before the end of 2013 and their number will reach 500 stores in Kazakhstan in 15 years. Astana will be the next city to get the stores.

According to Ministop President Nobuyuki Abe, Kazakhstan is the most promising country for development of combo-stores in Central Asia. “Kazakhstan citizens have quite good average earnings. The country has a bright future, both economically and politically,” Abe said.

He added that the brand may spill into other Central Asian countries, possibly to Uzbekistan. “But we chose Kazakhstan as a “testing ground” for business development. 100 stores will appear in Almaty in 2-3 years,” Abe said.

Kospenbetova said that the total investments related to the project made around $10 million. “The costs are quite high. Around 300 million tenge ($2 million) have already been invested so far. The company now has 25 full-time and 20 part-time employees, as well as around 10 consultants from Japan,” she said.

Ministop stores will consist of an office, kitchen for fast food, cafeteria and toilet. The store will be equipped with ATM machines and terminals for utility and other payments. The store will sell food, tobacco, household items, magazines and newspapers. They will also have a Japanese goods corner.

There are currently over 4,000 Ministop stores around the world. Around a half of them are located in Japan. The company has branches in South Korea, China, Philippines and Vietnam.

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