McDonald´s Japan: turns stores into cafes

Oak Brook / IL. (md) McDonald´s Corporation will convert some of its Japanese stores into cafes as it takes on coffee-shop chain leader Starbucks Corporation. McDonald´s Holding Co. Japan Ltd. will open 15 McCafe coffeehouse-style stores next month in the Tokyo area, announces a press release.

McDonald´s has 3.800 stores in the world´s second-largest economy (Japan), and is seeking to boost sales by offering consumers bakery items and coffee drinks. Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd., established in 1995 as a joint venture between Seattle-based Starbucks and Japan´s Sazaby League Ltd., had 686 stores in Japan as of March. According to «Japan Today» the cafe business in the country has been shrinking and stood at 1,052 trillion Yen in 2006, down five percent from 2005.