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HK Chain "759 Store" Opens 200th Location and 5th "759 Kawaiiland" Branch

759 Store, a fast-growing chain also known as 759 Oshinya that principally deals in processed goods such as Japanese snacks, noodles and beverages brought to Hong Kong through parallel importing, has broken the 200-store mark and now has five Kawaiiland branches handling daily necessities and cosmetics.

The name of the chain, which opens stores every month, is a combination of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange code for its parent company, CEC International Holdings Limited, and "Oshin," the name of a serialized morning TV drama by Japanese public broadcaster NHK. 759 Store opened its first branch at Kwai Chung Plaza in 2010, and in the first week of June 2014 simultaneously opened three stores, including the 200th location for the 759 Store brand and the fifth Kawaiiland, to make 205 shops in total.

Chairman Lam Wai Chun is adamant in his purpose: "I want to stock Japanese products. I want to sell them at around the same prices as in Japan without going through a Hong Kong distributor." Prices are set according to simple, clear rules and profit is fixed at 38 percent, excluding various expenses. Thus prices for the same product fluctuate in line with currency exchange rates.

Although an inability to guarantee the availability of popular products and frequent rearrangement of product lineups due to scarcity of certain merchandise are the store's weak points, in the Hong Kong market, consumers perceive the changing shelves as a sign of "novelty" and are accepting of such risk-reducing sales methods.

Around 70 percent of the merchandise is from Japan. Other goods come from Europe, South Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere. Perennial leaders among the best-selling products are Tarami Dossari Mix Yogurt Dessert (Tarami Fruit and Dairy, HK$7.80 for members) and UCC Instant Coffee (UCC 117 Instant Coffee, thick aroma, 90 grams, HK$22 for members).

Kawaiiland is a new brand started up last Christmas. Many women shop here for the daily necessities and cosmetics on hand. Each store deals in over 1,000 items such as Japanese skincare products and more.

Following a "customer in" concept of meeting customer needs, the company says, "Because this is Hong Kong, this business will succeed." The initial goal of opening 300 locations remains unchanged.

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