The Ultimate Convenience of Convenience Stores
First things first. I have a love-hate relationship with convenience stores. I love the convenience they provide when convenience is needed, but I hate that "convenience" is too often too easily becoming the new necessity. Nothing gets me crankier than seeing four or five convenience stores on the same block, except maybe seeing young children after school buying chicken nuggets for their dinner.
That being said, one of the things I especially love about the Lawson chain of convenience stores are their shops with built-in rest areas. Not all of them have them, I've only discovered a handful, but they are like oases in the desert.
They basically turn a regular Lawson into a Lawson-cafe. You can buy food or drinks (non-alcoholic only) and tuck into them at a table or counter top. When you're finished, there are trash receptacles and a place to wash your hands.
Going the extra mile...
Some even have electric outlets that you can use to operate your laptop or charge your phone.
They're a great place to kill a few minutes or enjoy a quick afternoon snack. I've even seen businessmen having meetings there.
Convenience as a way of life...
I'm sure Lawson isn't the only convenience store chain to have such rest areas, but so far they're the only ones I've found - feel free to let me know of others if they exist.
Speaking of Lawson, did you know they were originally a US company? The store originated in Ohio. In 1974, they signed a formal agreement with Daiei to open the first Lawson stores in Japan. On April 15, 1975 Daiei Lawson Co., Ltd. was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Daiei, Inc., a retail company which also ran a supermarket chain. The first store opened in Sakurazuka, Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture in June 1975. In September 1979 the official name was changed to Lawson Japan, Inc.. The Mitsubishi Corporation became the main shareholder in 2001. Today they exist as a Japanese company and are the second largest convenience store chain in the country behind 7-Eleven.