Seven & i Holdings is expanding services and supporting shopping to enable easy use by all customers, including senior citizens, people with disabilities, and tourists from overseas, whose numbers are increasing yearly.
Seven & i Holdings supports the creation of neighborhoods where local residents who suffer from cognitive impairment and their families can live with security. To this end, we are encouraging our employees to attend cognitive impairment supporter training courses.
Each Group company holds training courses, and the number of supporters Groupwide had increased to about 23,000 as of February 28, 2017, achieving the target of 20,000. We will continue to strengthen our efforts to develop cognitive impairment supporters.
Ito-Yokado is developing the Anshin Support Shop at 107 stores, which carries a full lineup of apparel, daily essentials, and foods, including products that support the health and lifestyles of seniors and care products (as of May 31, 2017) About 40% of products sold are original products developed together with business partners, and sales are conducted by sales staff with specialized qualifications who are also able to deal with consultations regarding nursing care and welfare issues in general.
In addition, Sogo & Seibu has teamed up with the Caring Design Association to establish a permanent "Living Design Salon" at the Seibu Ikebukuro Store for supporting living and home design for customers aged in their 50s and above. The facility proposes appealing homes that casually incorporate care and support features for the physical changes that occur with age, aiming to enable people to live in their own way even as they grow older.
The Seven & i Group launched tax-free services at certain stores within every Group company in December 2014, after the range of consumption tax-exempt items for foreign visitors was expanded to cover all items.
Moreover, Seven Bank ATMs offer cash withdrawal services on overseas-issued cards, while stores also offer free in-store Wi-Fi services Seven Spot in response to strong demand from overseas travelers.
Seven Bank provides an overseas remittance app available in nine languages for customers who make use of overseas remittance services. In 2016, we started concluding agreements for promoting multicultural coexistence with local governments in areas with high concentrations of foreign residents. The agreements are mainly intended to disseminate local information through the app. Information about living in these areas, disaster information, and so forth is disseminated in multiple languages through the app to residents, providing support for customers so that they can live safely and conveniently in Japan. As of May 31, 2017, we have concluded agreements with five local governments, and we plan to continue expanding this initiative.
Seven Bank is making daily progress on the ATM functions and services so that all customers can use them with confidence. With the voice guidance service, which is mainly for customers with visual disabilities, users can make a transaction by following voice guidance delivered through an intercom phone installed on the ATM to operate the buttons. Customers with the cash cards of around 540 affiliated partner financial institutions* can also use this service. This voice guidance system was developed after soliciting feedback from people with visual disabilities and testing various solutions.
Furthermore, ATMs in 7-Eleven stores now feature cane and drink holders to make them easy for anyone to use.