168 additional CO2 stores by Japanese retailers to receive subsidy

By Pilar Aleu, Oct 24, 2014, 17:18 3 minute reading

The number of CO2 supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan is set to grow more than threefold next year. On the top of the 249 CO2 stores receiving a subsidy from Japanese government in the first selection round announced in July, an additional 168 CO2 stores operated by 8 retailers will receive the subsidy. The total number of CO2 stores in Japan is expected to grow close to 700 in first quarter of 2015.

On 25 September 2014, Japan’s Refrigerants and Environmental Conservation Organisation (JRECO) announced the result of the second round of selection under the investment grant scheme of the Ministry of Environment (MOE), which will provide a total of €36 million in subsidies in the fiscal year 2014 to incentivise natural refrigerant use. As a result, in the next 4-5 months leading Japanese retailers will be adding another 168 stores with CO2 refrigeration systems. The total number of CO2 stores in Japan is expected to be between 650 and 700 by the end of March 2015.

Lawson leads the race – 550 CO2 stores expected by March 2015

Leading Japanese convenience store (CVS) chains are starting to invest heavily in new CO2 stores. Lawson, with 150 CO2 CVS currently in operation, will receive subsidies for a total of 325 CO2 stores but will also invest in additional CO2 stores to reach a total of approximately 550 CO2 stores by the end of March 2015.

According to Mr. Uto, leading advocate of CO2 technology at Lawson, the company plans to make CO2 refrigeration technology a standard in all new stores, regardless of subsidy programmes. In the fiscal year 2015 Lawson could reach the impressive number of 1,000 new CO2 stores installed in one year.

7-Eleven, a new rising star – 57 CO2 stores in one year

After initially receiving subsidies for the first 11 CO2 CVS, as a result of the second round of selection 7-Eleven Japan, the Japanese CVS market leader and the world's largest operator, franchisor, and licensor of convenience stores with more than 50,000 outlets, will add an additional 46 CO2 stores to its fleet. This will make 7-Eleven Japan second only in number of CO2 stores to Lawson. Advanced technology from Japanese suppliers such as Panasonic and Sanden, suitable in particular for CVS, will be installed in a minimum of 20 additional CVS operated by Ministop (CVS brand of AEON Group), Circle K Sunkus and Family Mart.

26 new CO2 supermarkets, including “firsts” for some retailers

In addition to the large number of new CO2 CVS, 26 new supermarket (SM) stores will come online in the next four to five months as a result of two rounds of subsidy selection. AEON will add a minimum of 10 CO2 SMs through its brands AEON Retail, MaxValu and AEON Big. Among other recipients of the subsidy Coop Sapporo and Miyagi Coop will add two new CO2 stores, and U Co-op will add one new CO2 SM to the already existing ones. Ito-Yokado, a Japanese general merchandise store, part of Seven & i Holdings, had 178 stores operating in Japan as of March 2013 and will install its first three CO2 supermarkets. Department store Fujisaki will add its first two CO2 stores. Daiei, one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan based in Kobe, will install its first CO2 SM. The complete list accessible bellow (in Japanese).

Japanese end-users can benefit from €57 million in subsidies for natural refrigerant technology

In 2013, the Ministry of the Environment outlined the government subsidy scheme encouraging operators to use natural refrigerants. Compared to the current fiscal year, in the fiscal year 2015, the programme budget, which encourages operators to use natural refrigerants, will increase significantly from 5 billion JPY to a total of 7.8 billion JPY (about €56.6 million) to support the use of natural refrigerants in:
  • Refrigerated warehouses (in 2014 covering 50% of investment cost)
  • Food processing facilities (newly added to the scope of the subsidy)
  • Retail store showcases (in 2014 covering 1/3 of investment cost)


By Pilar Aleu

Oct 24, 2014, 17:18

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