Do you fancy working at a world-famous Japanese convenience store?
Currently, Japan has over 50,000 convenience stores, almost everywhere. The job at a convenience store is trendy in Japan as it has many advantages. Many people develop various skills such as communication and problem-solving throughout their career.
Please read on to discover the duties, the average hourly rate and the reasons behind the popularity.
Japan's convenience stores offer grocery items, daily necessities and even magazines. Furthermore, customers visit to make payments, use a copy machine, reserve tickets for events, send packages, use an ATM, and much more. It is truly convenient for all. You can find almost anything in one place.
Convenience store clerks' duties are similar to supermarket staff. The main difference is the convenience store clerks are expected to do multi-tasks. In contrast, supermarket staff don't need to juggle with numerous tasks. So they can dedicate performing only as a cashier or a stock clerk.
Store clerks operate the cash register, processing customers' payments, issue receipts to customers for product bought, bagging products. If the store sells cigarettes, alcohol, and other age-restricted products, the clerks need to check the ID of each shopper.
Store clerks greet customers when they get in and step out the store, answer the questions related to the store's service, guide them to the proper aisle or shelves, assist shoppers in finding a product they need, and resolve customer complains.
There is a copy machine that has multiple-use for printing, scanning documents or printing out photographs. The clerks sometimes need to assist customers in making it work smoothly.
The store clerks put a price tag on each item on shelves, stock the shelves in the store, display adequately according to a shop manager's instruction, prepare and serve food items such as Bento boxes and Pizza for customers to take-away. The staff are also expected to keep a clean environment by cleaning and maintaining the interior and the exterior of the store, taking out litter and mopping floors, including the bathroom.
Some of the stores have an eat-in area with chairs and tables where customers can have a drink or a meal. Microwave and electric kettles are available for those who wish to warm up their food or add some boiling water in their instant noodles. The staff need to maintain the area as well.
Their hourly rate varies from place to place. They work on a rota: 5:00-9:00, 9:00-22:00, 22:00-5:00. Many stores in big cities give employees about 977 yen (as of 2017). Normally, early morning and night shift workers get better hourly rate than that of the day-time shift. Night shift working through midnight may get 1,200 yen.
You may wonder which convenience store to choose. Some people go for their favourite brands such as Seven-eleven, Lawson or Family Mart. If you are familiar with a particular brand, we recommend selecting your favourite one as you can master the tasks quickly.
Another factor to consider is the hectic level. If you like working under pressure, a busy shop could be good, which is normally located in the middle of a city, near a tube station, parking or in a hospital. On the contrary, if you are don't like being overwhelmed by many customers, it would be better to work at a shop in a remote area.
Additionally, some people are worried about burglaries or thieves, though Japan has a very low crime rate. However, it can happen. So, night shift workers especially need to be vigilant. If you are nervous about crimes, you should choose the shop located near to a police station, hospitals opening 24 hours or surrounded by many other shops.
There are some reasons.
Firstly, you can acquire many business skills, such as communication skills, excellent customer service skills and organization skills. You could also hone IT and math skills and strengthen your ability to pay attention to detail. It will be useful in your career path in the future.
Secondly, you can try new products faster than any other people. Some shops are willing to provide a tasting session for the staff. If you like trendy items, you will love it!
Thirdly, it is a weather-proof working environment. You can comfortably work inside even if it rains or snows.
Finally, the shift work will bring more flexibility. You can easily fit the working hours into your schedule and purpose, and also shorten the commuting time if your store is close to your house.
Without any experience, many people are employed. If you are interested in working in a job at a convenience store, why not try? You will enjoy a lot. Good luck!