If you live in Japan or you’re planning to visit the country, then you shouldn’t go searching for titillating items at the local convenience store, because you likely won’t be finding any. Recent reports reveal that the 3 biggest convenience chain operators in Japan – 7-Eleven, Lawson, and Family Mart – are planning to stop selling pornographic magazines in their stores all over Japan by late August.
The main reason these convenience chain operators gave for ending sales is that they are increasingly having a very diverse customer base. However, many people believe that it was because of the global sports events that’ll will be held in 2020 – the Olympics and Paralympics, which will attract a lot of foreign visitors.
Before the operators made these announcements, pornographic items had usually been displayed in separate section within the convenient stores. Chains in certain areas would use gummed tape or plastic string to deter browsers from opening or flipping through the items and possibly infuriating other shoppers and minors in particular.
From the third to the first, Lawson, Family Mart, and 7-Eleven are the 3 largest convenient operators respectively by number of stores.
At Family Mart, a spokesperson stated that the company has already stopped the sales of pornographic magazines in about 2,000 of their total 16,683 stores in Japan.
Meanwhile, the majority of the customers at Lawson’s convenience stores were predominantly men between the ages of 20 to 30. Li Ming, a spokesperson of the chain operator revealed that more women, children, and elderly people were beginning to frequent their stores. In recent times, Lawson has also started to see a lot of foreigners shopping at their outlets all over Japan. Li further stated that it could hurt the nation’s image if the stores continue to display sexually explicit material that can only be accessed by shoppers who are 18 years and over. The spokesperson reported that of the 14,574 Lawson stores in Japan, about 4,000 of them had already halted the sales of adult magazines.
There is a special market for these types of products, but with sales declining, many of the chain operators have made the somewhat logical decision to focus on selling products that can be purchased by a larger group of customers.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson at 7-Eleven has revealed the company’s plan to remove porn magazines from the over 20,000 stores in Japan by the end of August.