MANILA, Philippines - Japanese convenience store giant Lawson is partnering with Lucio Co's Puregold Inc. as it expands in the Philippines.
Puregold on Friday said it signed a joint venture agreement with Lawson Asia Pacific and Lawson Inc. to build and operate convenience stores in the country.
"(This is a) natural extension of PGOLD's presence in the local retail landscape," it said.
Puregold said it will contribute 70 percent of the investment in the joint venture company, while Lawson will provide 30 percent. The timetable for implementation is "within seven years."
Lawson chairman Takeshi Niinami was in Manila to attend the World Economic Forum for East Asia 2014 last May. He bared plans for the company's expansion in the Philippines, saying they are targeting to put up as much as 2,000 convenience stores in the long term.
“The Philippines is very strong in consumption. I am very interested in entering it,” he said in an interview with The Philippine Star.
Lawson is already present in Indonesia and Thailand, where it has 61 and 29 branches respectively. As of end-March, Lawson had 11,716 stores in Japan, 389 in China and four in the US.
Lawson will face stiff competition in the country, where 7-Eleven, Ministop and FamilyMart are already present. Japan's FamilyMart Co, expanded in the Philippines in 2012 via a joint venture with Ayala Land.