April 4, 2019 / 3:40 AM / 7 months ago

Japan's 7-Eleven to replace leader as it considers changing 24-hour policy

TOKYO, April 4 (Reuters) - Japan’s biggest retail group Seven & i Holdings said it was replacing the head of its 7-Eleven convenience store business, amid pressure to abandon its 24-hour store policy due to a shortage of workers.

Vice President Fumihiko Nagamatsu will replace Seven-Eleven Japan President Kazuki Furuya, a Seven & i spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday.

The Nikkei newspaper earlier reported that the change was aimed at better coping with growing discontent among franchise owners struggling to keep stores staffed around the clock amid the tightest labour market in 40 years.

A recent campaign by the owners’ union, some of whom were forced to work amid massive snowstorms or in the wake of a family death, attracted nationwide attention.

The company in March began testing shorter hours at 10 of its more than 20,700 stores. (Reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu; Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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