On 6th February 2014, an experimental, next-generation convenience store was opened as part of a collaborative project between Lawson, Inc. and Panasonic Heating and Cooling at the Panasonic Headquarters in Moriguchi, Japan.

In April 2013, Panasonic and Lawson launched their collaborative project in which they shared their retail and technology visions.  The store is directly managed by Lawson, and is operated in the same way as a regular Lawson store whilst utilizing Panasonic technologies.

With three main goals, both Panasonic and Lawson wanted to investigate ways in which they could fuse their businesses together and offer:
  • Eco-friendly solutions: via the introduction of equipment and systems to enable reduction of power usage by 50%; HIT solar panels, lithium-ion storage batteries, CFC-free showcases, LEDs/lighting control and air-conditioning/ventilation control
  • Convenience with the aid of ICT: Alternate ways of sales promotion, such as using digital signage; through the introduction of a camera-based in-store marketing system
  • Healthy lifestyle choices: By introducing in-store cooking appliances; through the installation of a relaxation corner that offers a sense of comfort to customers 
Panasonic and Lawson were able to trial the environmental, store operation and security alternatives in a public environment. This provided Lawson the opportunity to use this outlet to experiment with ways in which to strengthen its customer-orientated business, whilst at the same time utilising a range of equipment from Panasonic including air source heat pumps, air conditioning systems and air curtains, putting them into practice in a retail environment. 

e two companies will judge the effectiveness of this concept store based on actual operational data, enabling them to make improvements and then extend the accumulated knowledge and know-how to Lawson stores across Japan as a result of the experiment.

"Lawson and Panasonic decided together to create a convenience store by using Panasonic's technologies to address various challenges we face in serving our customers daily,” explains Lawson COO, Tamatsuka. “Throughout this experiment, we have been faced with many challenging requests for Panasonic and we have greatly appreciate the positive approach they constantly showed whilst solving these demands."

Enokido, Panasonic Executive Officer said, "Environment, health, and information and communication technology (ICT) are important aspects of the food industry which are often exploited. This experimental store allowed both companies to enhance practice in all of these areas, and work towards a customer engaging and innovative business. We hope to keep evolving our technologies and services for an advanced future in home technology sector."
* Heat pumps shown contains fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP higher than 150