An even more convenient way to shop, with surprising brands inside.

As convenient as they are, Japanese convenience stores haven’t changed much over the years, with a wide variety of goods and services still being offered and the only really big change being the post-pandemic lack of oden at the cash registers.

However, Seven & i Holdings is now keen to push the envelope with a new type of convenience store dubbed SIP, which opened its first branch at Matsudo City in Chiba, Tokyo’s neighbouring prefecture, on 29 February. SIP is an acronym for 7-Eleven Japan (SEJ) and Ito-Yokado (IY), two subsidiaries of Seven & I Holdings Co, with the “P” standing for “partnership“, underlining the collaborative nature of this new venture.

▼ Located just outside the north exit of Tokiwadaira Station on the Shin-Keisei Line, the new SIP store is a revamp of an old branch, and looks like a regular 7-Eleven from the outside.

The store is approximately 290 square metres (3,121 square feet) larger than a regular store, though, and it stocks approximately 5,300 items, including fresh fish and meat that you won’t find in regular stores.

The store layout shows two entrances (marked by green arrows), registers at the top left, “Original Fresh Food” and drinks at the top right, a sweets area in the purple area, a grocery area in yellow, and in the green section, a variety of products, including daily essentials, fresh, frozen and processed foods, and 7-Eleven’s Premium Delica range.

While the store exterior and layout might not seem too dissimilar to a regular convenience store, that all changes when you step through the sliding doors, as the look and feel of the place appears to combine the best features of a convenience store and a supermarket.

▼ Say hello to 7-Eleven’s next-generation convenience store.

Near the front of the store is a stand filled with fruit and vegetables, and just beyond that is the chilled foods section, where you can find meat like beef, chicken, and pork…

…and fresh fish, all of which are processed and delivered by Peace Deli Nagareyama Kitchen, the food division of Seven & i Holdings.

If frozen foods are more your thing, there are freezers full of Western-style meals, and even some frozen bread from Yamazaki, which is something a lot of customers will have never seen before.

Another area of the store is stocked with loads of retort curries, making it look like a delicious bookshelf.

▼ In front of the register is a corner where you can buy nuts by weight.

Most surprisingly, the store has spaces dedicated to top-selling products from other stores, namely…

▼ …Daiso


and Akachan Honpo, a popular chain that sells all sorts of baby and maternity goods.

Baked goods are a popular staple at many convenience stores, but here at SIP there’s more to choose from than ever before, with the highlight being the Seven Cafe Bakery section in front of the cash registers.

▼ In addition to curry bread, which you can find at many stores, there are also rarer finds like financiers and chocolate cookies

…and melon bread and croissants, all baked fresh on the premises.

One of the most highly recommended items is the pizza, baked in-store, and there are currently two to choose from — the Margherita (780 yen [US$5.28]) and Teriyaki Chicken (880 yen).

Unfortunately, this store doesn’t have an eat-in space, but most customers choose to take their pizzas home and reheat them or otherwise eat them at the nearby park.

The hand-tossed dough is chewy, and the tomato sauce is imbued with a subtle hint of basil for a tasty finish. Both pizzas are delicious and just the right size to fill you up for lunch or dinner.

The Melon Bread (160 yen), Croissant (170 yen), and Financier (150 yen) are other recommended items, and they’re wonderfully light and fluffy on the inside and perfect for pairing with a tea or coffee.

With such a wide variety of food and goods to choose from, this SIP store is definitely taking things to the next level and blurring the lines between convenience store, supermarket and chainstore in all the right ways.

It’s an even more convenient way to shop that’s bound to catch on with the public, so we look forward to seeing them expand to more locations in future…maybe with some of those holographic registers to enhance the experience.

Store Information

7-Eleven Matsudo Tokiwadaira Ekimae store / セブンイレブン松戸常盤平駅前店
Address: Chiba-ken, Matsudo-shi, Tokiwadaira 1-20-1

Related: 7-Eleven
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