With the trend toward nuclear families, there are often fewer people parents can easily turn to with questions about raising their children. In light of this, Seven & i Holdings offers various types of assistance related to childcare through its stores and establishments.
Ito-Yokado and Sogo & Seibu provide maternity and childcare consultation offices (at 119 stores as of February 29, 2016) and Pre-Mama Stations (at 6 stores as of February 29, 2016), respectively, where public health nurses and midwives give counseling free of charge to pregnant women on their health and to mothers on childcare. They also provide rest areas equipped with booths for breast-feeding, hot-water suppliers, and toilets for children.
Number of Ito-Yokado Childcare Consultations (Users)
Ito-Yokado holds a range of events to provide childcare advice and encourage parents to interact and socialize, starting with free maternity and childcare consultation offices staffed by licensed specialists. The Company also actively takes part in events with universities, municipalities and product manufacturers to maintain and promote the health of mothers, offer techniques for relaxation and rejuvenation and provide helpful childcare-related information. The overarching theme of the events is "enjoyment at home through public-private-academic partnerships," and through these events, we are helping to expand community childcare support networks.
Seven & i Holdings, at the request of elementary, junior high, and high schools in the communities where it operates, supports workplace experience learning at its Group stores, where children have the chance to take part in running a retail store in their community. We provide students with the chance to visit the workplaces of our employees, stock shelves in sales areas, provide customer service, and bag customers' products.
Furthermore, SEJ has a store in Shinagawa Student City, which has been run jointly by the City of Shinagawa and Junior Achievement Japan since 2003. The concept behind Shinagawa Student City is to create a virtual town inside an elementary school, with various companies setting up shops and providing work experience. The children working in the Seven-Eleven store experience customer service, sales space creation, and other operations to learn about the systems of a company. In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, 2,174 elementary school students staffed our store and learned about the joys and challenges of working through customer service and retail sales.
SEJ held an outreach class at Osaka Gakugei Secondary School in June 2015 as a part of the Yomiuri Education Network, which seeks to increase interactions between companies and schools.
The class involves a game in which Seven-Eleven stores are established in fictitious towns on a map. Through the game the students come to understand in a fun way the roles that Seven-Eleven plays in society. At the same time, they learn about some of the changes taking place in Japanese society, including the aging population, declining birthrate, women's advancement in society, and decreasing number of retail stores. The class provides a good opportunity for students to think about their society from the everyday perspective of a convenience store.
Seven Bank supports the publication of "Bonolon, Warrior of the Forest," a picture book that parents can read to their children to foster communication. The bank also distributes picture books free of charge and holds storytelling sessions. Storytelling sessions are also held at Denny's restaurants, which are managed by Seven & i Food Systems.
Seven & i Holdings promotes dietary education activities for children to raise people who understand foods through various experiences and can practice a sound, healthy diet.
For example, Seven & i Food Systems hands out a booklet called "Bonolon and Food" at its chain of Denny's restaurants. The booklet contains important information about food manners and knowledge and teaches children about the correct eating habits using games and quizzes.