Mobile convenience store opens in Minamisoma’s Odaka district

28 June 2012

Convenience store chain FamilyMart Co. launched the sale of foods and daily necessities on June 27 in Minamisoma’s Odaka district, designated as a zone where preparations are being made for lifting the evacuation order, using a 2-ton truck as a mobile shop.

This is the first time for a convenience store chain to operate in the Odaka district since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. FamilyMart is active in introducing mobile convenience stores as part of efforts to help reconstruct the affected areas.

FamilyMart sent a truck is has called Famima to the district at the request of the central government’s Reconstruction Agency after the district was reclassified as a zone where preparations are being made for lifting the evacuation order.

Some 200 items of foods and daily necessities were on the shelves inside the truck, which was parked in the parking space of FamilyMart’s Odaka outlet located along national highway 6 that links Tokyo with Sendai. The store was hard hit by the massive tsunami that was triggered by the gigantic earthquake.

The mobile convenience store will be open between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday.

On the launch day of June 27, many residents who paid brief visits to their homes in the Odaka district purchased lunches and daily necessities at the mobile convenience store.

Fujio Watanabe, 75, and his wife Hisako, 68, who currently live in a temporary rental home in Minamisoma’s Haramachi district, headed for their home in the Odaka district with a shopping bag containing items they purchased at the mobile convenience outlet. “We still cannot resume our daily life at our home...But it’s convenient that there is a store near our home,” the couple said.

(Translated by Kyodo News)