Material Issue 4 Supporting the Active Role of Women, Youth and Seniors across the Group and in Society
Support for Childcare
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 support related to childcare through its stores.
Maternity and Childcare Counseling Service
Ito-Yokado and Sogo & Seibu provide maternity and childcare consultation offices (at 113 stores as of February 28, 2019) and Pre-Mama Stations (at 5 stores as of February 28, 2019). Here, 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 breastfeeding, hot-water, and toilets for children.
Childcare consultation office
|Number of Ito-Yokado Childcare Consultations (Users)|
Childcare Support Events
Ito-Yokado holds a range of events to provide childcare advice and encourage parents to interact and socialize. The company also actively takes part in events with universities, municipalities and several 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.
A childcare support event sponsored by public-private-academic partnership
Supporting Career Education
To support career education at elementary, junior high, high schools, and universities, the Seven & i Group cooperates with requests from schools by sending out employees to each school, by providing workplace tours, and by holding workplace experience programs at its Group stores, where children have the chance to take part in conducting familiar retail store operations. For example, York Mart provides an opportunity to observe the food processing operations and to practice stocking the shelves in the store with products. Approximately 9,000 elementary and junior high school students participate each year. Ito-Yokado also conducts workplace experience programs at its stores where each year approximately 8,000 students can come up with and convey their own proposals by making coordination proposals and suggestions to customers through in-store sampling while experiencing firsthand the importance of complying with basic standards to ensure safety and confidence. Also, Seven & i Food Systems holds workplace experience programs where students can try working as the manager of a restaurant or learn about the importance of ingredients control and hospitality through actual experience. The program was attended by students from 106 schools in the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019. The Seven & i Group training facility, Ito Training Center, provides sales space creation and food processing experiences, as well as opportunities to provide service from various customer perspectives, such as helping customers in wheelchairs and so on. Through these experiences, the students can feel the value of working and the joy of interacting with customers.
Learning about cash registers through hands-on experience at Ito Training Center
Furthermore, SEJ has a store in Shinagawa Student City, which has been run jointly by Shinagawa Ward and Junior Achievement Japan since 2003. The concept of Shinagawa Student City is to create a virtual town inside an elementary school, with various companies setting up shops and providing experience of working and society. The children working in the 7-Eleven store experience customer service, sales space creation, and other operations to learn about the systems of society. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, 2,484 elementary school students staffed our store and learned about the joys and challenges of working through customer service and retail sales.
Shinagawa Student City
Outreach Classes for Company-School Exchange
SEJ holds outreach classes at an elementary school in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward in March 2019 as a part of the Yomiuri Education Network, which seeks to increase interactions between companies and schools. The class involves group work in which 7-Eleven stores are established in fictitious towns on a map. Through the group work, the children come to understand in a fun way the roles that 7-Eleven plays in society. At the same time, they learn about how the products and services of 7-Eleven—which aims to build stores that are convenient and close to people—have changed (CRM strategy* and response to SDGs) in accordance to the changes in society (changes in customers’ needs). The class provides a good opportunity for children to think about their society from the everyday perspective of a convenience store.
*CRM: Customer Relationship Management
This is a management strategy/method aimed at expanding sales and improving profitability through improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Outreach class in progress
Picture Book Storytelling Sessions
Seven Bank supports the publication of “Bonolon, Warrior of the Forest” (approximately one million copies on even months), a picture book that parents can read to their children to foster communication. The bank also distributes picture books free of charge, and regularly holds storytelling sessions by employees at children’s centers and other places for children. Storytelling sessions are also held at Denny’s restaurants, which are managed by Seven & i Food Systems.
Storytelling session led by employee volunteers
Support for Dietary Education
The Seven & i Group promotes dietary education activities for children to raise people who understand foods through various experiences and can practice sound and healthy dietary habits.
For example, Seven & i Food Systems distributes 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.
In addition, dietary education classes for children were held a total of eight times at four Denny’s restaurants in the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019. These are opportunities for children to learn about how to use chopsticks, how to use knives, forks, and spoons, and other basic table manners. They are also opportunities to learn about vegetables in an enjoyable way through explanations using ingredient-themed panels and quizzes.
©NSP 2005, © Together with Bonolon, 2007
Free dietary education booklet “Bonolon and Food”
Dietary education class
Donating Shoes to Children in Zambia
Sogo & Seibu works with the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP)* on a project for sending shoes to children in Zambia. The company has established areas to accept children’s shoes donations in all of its stores. The shoes they receive from customers help to prevent tetanus and parasitic infections resulting from foot injuries to children with bare feet. They are sent through JOICFP to children in Zambia. As of February 28, 2019, Sogo & Seibu had sent about 860,000 pairs of shoes since 2009.
- JOICFP is an international cooperation NGO that was started in Japan to protect the health and lives of women and children in the developing world.
Cooperation with the White Ribbon Campaign
Akachan Honpo and Sogo & Seibu have been providing sponsorship for the White Ribbon Campaign launched by JOICFP to protect the health of pregnant women and babies throughout the world. The Group companies have been working in partnership with JOICFP on the Community Safe Motherhood Project (which involves the donation of funds to establish Maternity Waiting Houses in Zambia). Besides accepting donations on behalf of JOICFP through its stores and online, the two companies have also installed 61 White Ribbon Campaign Vending Machines at locations throughout Japan (Akachan Honpo 45 machines, Sogo & Seibu 16 machines) as of February 28, 2019. For every beverage purchased from one of these machines, the companies donate \2 to JOICFP (\1 from the beverage manufacturer and \1 from the store where the machine is installed). In addition, Sogo & Seibu has created a White Ribbon pin badge for sale, from which all proceeds are donated to the White Ribbon Campaign.
A White Ribbon beverage vending machine
A White Ribbon pin badge