Chinese Superstore Business

Message from the Chairperson

Tsugumi Ko
Chairperson of
Ito-Yokado (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
Hua Tang Yokado Commercial Co., Ltd.
Chengdu Ito-Yokado Co., Ltd.

Ever since Ito-Yokado (China) Investment Co., Ltd. opened the Chunxi store in the Chinese city of Chengu in 1997, we have aimed as a member of the Seven & i Group to achieve sustained growth under the motto of “Responding to changes and adhering to the basics.” In China Ito-Yokado strives to display a spirit of craftsmanship and to supply top-quality products and services that lead to better shopping experiences for every one of our customers.

In 2018, we began a Strategy to Build a New Ito-Yokado. We are actively challenging not only brick-and-mortar stores but also e-commerce business, such as online shopping, and are evolving a business model as a multiplatform and omnichannel retailer that responds to changes in consumption behavior.

When movement was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we utilized the capabilities of our supply chain to the full, ensuring the products necessary for the daily lives of citizens and fulfilling the retail industry’s mission as part and parcel of social infrastructure.

Furthermore, in the Chinese superstore business too, we emphasize the fact that companies and society will grow together. In accordance with the Seven Material Issues common across the Group and our “GREEN CHALLENGE 2050” environmental declaration, we are continuing dialogue with stakeholders, including customers, business partners, shareholders, local communities, and employees, and contributing to the company’s sustained growth and the realization of a sustainable society.

Regarding the Sustainable Development Goals, which are a common theme in the world, the Chinese government also is advocating a decarbonization policy of a “30-60 double carbon target” (that is, peak emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060). In these circumstances, Ito-Yokado in China also is advocating a “Green Ito-Yokado” and aims to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society. In addition, as well as supplying safe, reliable, and higher quality products and services to customers, we will continue to search for new values in the retail industry as an environment- and society-friendly “green mall,” including reducing the use of plastic, curbing food loss, and making charitable donations for local community development.

Going forward, by responding to changes in customer needs, further strengthening our special characteristics as a Japanese enterprise, and promoting the expansion of Japan-China business and trade, we will endeavor to create new daily life scenes, products, and consumption behavior and provide customers with shopping experiences that go beyond their expectations.

China Business History

Year Event
1996 Request to establish superstore received from government of China and Chengdu in Sichuan Province
December 1996 Chengdu Ito-Yokado Co., Ltd. established in Chengdu
September 1997 Hua Tang Yokado Commercial Co., Ltd. established in Beijing
November 1997 Chunxi Store opens in Chengdu
December 2001 Asian Games Village Store opens in Beijing
September 2003 Shuangnan Store opens in Chengdu
December 2007 Jinhua Store opens in Chengdu
November 2009 Jianshe Road Store opens in Chengdu
November 2011 High-tech Store opens in Chengdu
January 2014 Wenjiang Store opens in Chengdu
2014 Then-Chairman Tomohiro Saegusa named an Honorary Citizen of Chengdu, a first for a Japanese manager of a private company
January 2017 Meishan Store opens in Meishan
April 2017 Chengdu Ito-Yokado E-commerce Co., Ltd. established in Chengdu
November 2018 Huafu Avenue Store, food and commodity stores, opens in Chengdu
January 2019 Ito Plaza opens in Chengdu
January 2021 Leshan Store opens in Leshan
November 2021 Tomihiro Saegusa receives the Chinese Government Friendship Award, the highest state-level honor, awarded to overseas experts from the Chinese Government
January 2022 Financial City Store, lifestyle grocery store, opens in Chengdu
February 2022 Chengdu Ito-Yokado Information and Technology Co., Ltd. established in Chengdu

Company Overview

Chengdu Ito-Yokado Hua Tang Yokado Commercial
Net Sales approx. ¥25,153 million approx. ¥2,697 million
Number of employees 2,553 193
Number of stores 10 stores (Chunxi, Shuangnan, Jinhua, Jianshe Road, High-tech, Wenjiang, Meishan,Huafu Avenue, Ito Plaza, Leshan, Financial City) 1 store (Asian Games Village)
Established December 1996 September 1997
Chairman Tsugumi Ko Tsugumi Ko
President Kazumi Kunimi Tatsuya Arai
CSR Promotion Structure CSR Management Committee CSR Management Committee
Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee
Consumer Affairs and Quality Control Subcommittee Consumer Affairs and Quality Control Subcommittee
Environmental Subcommittee Environmental Subcommittee
  • *Fiscal year ending December 31 (number of stores as of December 31, 2022; number of employees as of February 28, 2023)
  • *Exchange rate of CNY1 = ¥19.50
  • *Net sales does not include value added tax

CSR Initiatives


CSR Promotion Structure

In China, companies are required by society to promote CSR, for example, by formulating CSR initiative policies and evaluation indicators in line with Chinese government policy, and by publishing CSR evaluation rankings.

Ito-Yokado (China) Investment Co., Ltd. established a CSR Management Committee in the latter half of 2021 and each China operating company has begun building a structure for a cross-sectoral activity system for its China operations in cooperation with the CSR Management Committee. The CSR Management Committee consists of three subcommittees: the Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee, the Environmental Subcommittee, and the Consumer Affairs and Quality Control Subcommittee. The Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee goes back to the starting point of the company's establishment and ensures that employees are fully aware of the company's policies and corporate creed. The Environment Subcommittee promotes energy-saving store operations while working to achieve specific reduction targets for electricity and water conservation. The Consumer Affairs and Quality Control Subcommittee works to provide safe and secure products and services and enhances compliance initiatives, while also delivering improved products and services.

Chengdu Ito-Yokado and Hua Tang Yokado Commercial have begun working together with the CSR Management Committee of Ito-Yokado (China) Investment Co., Ltd. to promote CSR more comprehensively. The CSR Management Committee shares the Seven & i Group Material Issues through online and offline communication meetings, and formulates plans to resolve these issues. The committee is furthermore focusing efforts on expanding the employee training curriculum, which includes hosting of network-based online training sessions.

Publication of CSR Reports

Chengdu Ito-Yokado has published a report annually since its first CSR Report, which summarizes its social and environmental initiatives, in July 2016. In preparing the report, we refer to various indicators in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), SDGs, and ESG, with a comparison table on each included at the end of the report.

The CSR Report for FY2021, published in August 2022, was distributed to attendees of the Sichuan CSR Report Presentation and conferences for the private sector, and was also provided to the Ministry of Industry and Credit, the State Resources Commission, and other government agencies through the China Federation of Industry and Economy for their use.


Promise to Customers


Quality and Freshness Management

Chengdu Ito-Yokado distributes a "Standard Operating Procedures Manual" to each employee to unify production and processing standards and improve quality, and headquarters personnel regularly visit stores to confirm that products meet the standards. We also screen, evaluate, and track contracts with suppliers of products, and work to realize a total quality management system for the supply chain from the farms to the dining tables.

Hua Tang Yokado Commercial holds quality control training for employees in the food sales floor four times each year and strictly adheres to quality control standards. In addition, the company conducts regular inspections of facilities and equipment, sanitation management processes, and quality management system for employees, on the sales floor and backrooms. Besides these inspections, employees in the food sales floor conduct PCR tests daily, and employees in the backroom conduct PCR tests every 24 to 48 hours in response to administrative requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections. The sales floor and backroom are regularly sanitized at our own initiative, as part of efforts to provide customers with a safe and secure shopping environment.

Provision of Traceability Information

Since 2013, Chengdu Ito-Yokado has established a food traceability system in cooperation with producers to disclose product information to customers. Chengdu Ito-Yokado independently developed "看得見的放心" and manages the quality of its products. 看得見的放心 has the same concept as "Traceable Fresh Food with Producers' Faces" sold at Ito-Yokado in Japan with many customers endorsing these as safe and secure products.

看得见的放心 had expanded its range to a total of 348 items, and achieved a sales volume of 1.69 million units and sales figures of 25.84 million yuan, by 2022. In FY2022, 113 new items had been added, and the number of production sites expanded to 35 locations, including Wuchang, Dandong, Xinjiang, Hainan, Dali of Shaanxi Province, Xjshanshan County, Chengdu, Honghe, Shandong, Hanyuan County, Huili County, Zhangzhou, Pengzhou City, Pidu District, Suining, and Wensu County.

Among the items in the 看得见的放心 range are Shoen black pig products, produced from a carefully selected breed of Zoko pigs and Kawa black pigs which are raised for 12 years over six generations in regions with altitudes in excess of 4,000 meters. Shoen black pig products have enjoyed popular renown as a delicious pork characterized by its savory flavor and tenderness, with the pigs raised on feed consisting of a mix of cereals and mountain spring water, and pigs which are slowly and meticulously reared in a rich natural environment over a period of some 300 days.

We also offer “flower vegetables,” a winter staple vegetable in Sichuan province as part of the 看得见的放心range. Five varieties and different shapes of flower vegetable were developed at production sites in Jianyang City and Pengzhou City, Sichuan, respectively. The different hues and textures of these are adding color to the diets of the citizens of Chengdu.

“看得见的放心” Shoen black pig products
“看得见的放心” flower vegetable products

Strengthening Quality Management of Store Operations in Pursuit of a Safe and Secure Shopping Environment

In 2019, Chengdu Ito-Yokado began monthly quality inspections of store operational aspects by the Administration Division in order to fully enhance store management, operational, and service capabilities. The Administration Division leads the operational quality inspections, which are conducted by the Division and stores together, and include monthly on-site inspections and on-site evaluations for matters such as basic customer service on the sales floor, sales floor and backroom management, and fire safety. For any problems discovered, the causes and countermeasures are shared with all employees to improve the management awareness and level of store managers and to ensure a safe and secure store environment.

Since 2022, inspections and evaluations of sales floors and backroom management, in-store equipment and environment, and safety and fire safety equipment, as well as employee customer service have been enhanced. The frequency of inspections and scope of items inspected have been increased, with inspections regarding waste segregation and waste management statuses also being made more rigorous.

Inspection of canteen freezers
Sharing of inspection results by the Administration Division and store staff members

"Citizen Quality Supervisor" System and Collection of Customer Feedback

Chengdu Ito-Yokado has conducted public recruitment of “Citizen Quality Supervisors” from among its customers since 2008 to improve its products and stores in line with customer standards. In FY2022, however, the company suspended customer roundtables and quality supervisor activities with a view to preventing the spread of COVID-19 infections. Despite this situation, activities to make active use of feedback from customers were maintained, with the range of Japanese products expanded, the number of products for women that can be redeemed with member points expanded, and products and services improved in response to the numerous comments received on the "伊藤到家" (online supermarket) portal site.


Promise to the Local Community


Donations and Stakeholder Engagement

Chengdu Ito-Yokado supports school education and assists needy families. Since FY2007, we have selected four elementary schools and donated necessary equipment to improve school facilities and equipment. We donated stationery, teaching materials, and sports equipment to disadvantaged children in response to the schools' requests. Furthermore, every year, we provide scholarships to outstanding students in the Sichuan University Japanese language program, both encouraging their studies and helping to nurture the skilled talent that will serve as a bridge between Japan and China in the future. This initiative marked its 25th anniversary in 2022.

On September 5, 2022, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck lcags zam, Sichuan Province. Numerous homes were destroyed and many people who had been living deep in the mountains were forced to live in evacuation shelters. Chengdu Ito-Yokado decided immediately after the earthquake to donate 250,000 yuan. Our assistance went primarily to severely affected underage children from the De Tuo Town area, which suffered the greatest damage. We also visited the homes of disaster-struck children and provided them with good necessary to their daily lives and their studies.  

Donation ceremony at an evacuation shelter in De Tuo Town, lcags zam
Calling in on the household of a youth affected by the disaster

Volunteer Activities

On the third Wednesday of every month, Chengdu Ito-Yokado employees at every store clean up the areas around the stores.

At Hua Tang Yokado, employees take the initiative in beautifying public facilities and spaces by making clean-up activities a daily routine.

A volunteer team from Chunxi Store
Cleanup at Zhongshan Square, a haven for pedestrians in Chunxi
Hua Tang Yokado Commercial cleanup activity
Hua Tang Yokado Commercial cleanup activity

Promise to Employees


Store Management by Local Employees

All Chengdu Ito-Yokado and Hua Tang Yokado Commercial stores have actively promoted local employees since the opening of their stores in China in order to create stores that are rooted in the local community, and Chinese staff are still playing an active role in each store. The percentage of Chinese employees (excluding directors) in management positions is 99.1% at Chengdu Ito-Yokado and 98.5% at Hua Tang Yokado Commercial, with local employees basically running the company. Chengdu Ito-Yokado's stores in local cities (Meishan and Leshan stores) employ a large number of local personnel, accounting for 89%.

We have also actively promoted women. The percentage of women in executive positions is 63.8% at Chengdu Ito-Yokado, and five of its 10 stores have female store managers. The percentage of female managers at Hua Tang Yokado is 50.6% (excluding directors), and the store manager of the Asian Village store is also a woman.

Employee Data (As of the end of December 2022)
Chengdu Ito-Yokado Hua Tang Yokado Commercial
No. of employees 2,919 194
No. of part-time employees 87 25
Ratio of Chinese employees in management positions 99.1% 98.5%
No. and ratio of women in management positions (excluding executives) 720(63.8%) 40(50.6.%)
No. of female team leaders (ratio of female team leaders) 224(61.9%)


No. of female section managers (ratio of female section managers) 105(63.2%) 13(46.4%)
No. of female division managers (ratio of female division managers) 30(66.7%) 12(50.0%)
No. of female corporate officers (ratio of female corporate officers) 3(25.0%) 1(14.2%)
No. of employees with disabilities 51 (1.8%) 9 (4.6%)

CSR Education

At the Chengdu Ito-Yokado and Hua Tang Yokado Commercial stores, since FY2020, we have poured our energies into reducing the volume of plastic being used. The stores jointly switched over to using shopping bags that are made of degradable plastic. In addition, to eliminate the use of store-supplied shopping bags, we are also focusing on the sales of eco-bags.

Furthermore, since FY2022, Chengdu Ito-Yokado has been participating in activities to promote SDGs. We offered a proposal on green consumption for the average consumer with the Chengdu City Retailers Association at a forum on sustainable development at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. We forthrightly proposed environmental protection activities to undertake together with our customers. This was done as a way to get more average consumers to partake in green consumption and carry out initiatives based on the principles of sustainable development even in the slightest of ways in their daily lives.


Self-Recommendation Program

Chengdu Ito-Yokado has been developing a workplace environment where our employees can thrive, rooted in the basic principles of “fairness, justice, competition, and selecting for excellence,” so that our employees can grow further.

In FY2015, Chengdu Ito-Yokado began operating a Self-Recommendation Program as a show of respect for the autonomy of employees in order to provide an outlet for their motivation. The program is for employees who have worked for the company for at least one year and allows them to put themselves forward as candidates for the jobs they seek. Applicants who pass assessments are assigned to their desired workplace after a training period.

We have also been proactively engaged in human resource development, and in FY2022, launched our “Internal Competitive Recruitment System.” We are regularly recruiting supervisors and assistant supervisors who will be in charge at stores; both persons who recommend themselves and are recommended by others can apply. Applicants describe the work that they are doing, and we appoint those applicants who received the most votes from among those employees who received positive evaluations from 51% or more of our in-house examiners. We also recruit department managers and more senior staff on an irregular basis. They explain and discuss their work, and we select those applicants who were graded the highest by our job recruitment committee. The employees selected perform their duties on an interim basis for six months. At the end of this, their work is reevaluated based on internal standards and, if they have passed the evaluation, they are officially appointed to their position.

Six recruitment drives took place in FY2022, and 109 persons applied. Of that number, 26 were promoted, six passed their exams, and five appointed candidates for executive training.

Human Resource Development Programs

Chengdu Ito-Yokado and Hua Tang Yokado Commercial are endeavoring to enhance their training programs to bring out the latent abilities of employees and enable them to fully display their strengths.

In March 2022 Chengdu Ito-Yokado established the Human Resource Development Center with the aims of nurturing human resources, passing on the corporate culture and philosophy, helping employees to acquire highly original expert skills, and training product development teams. This center, which proclaims a target of contributing to the company, the industry, and society, is striving to build a growth-oriented organization by consolidating the basics, providing in-house training, and acquiring the cooperation of outside experts.

In FY2022, Hua Tang Yokado Commercial reviewed its educational content relating to the corporate creed and management philosophy, on-site employee support, and customer service and is endeavoring to supply top-quality products and services to customers. By commending staff (meaning not only regular employees but all store staff, including partner company employees, tenant employees, cleaners, and security guards) who receive words of praise from customers in plenary meetings, it seeks to elevate the feeling of togetherness and engagement among staff.

Human Resource Development and Training

Classroom Training

Chengdu Ito-Yokado is promoting the building of a growth-oriented organization and a motivational workplace environment. In FY2022, it implemented 18 courses of in-house training on the three principal themes of corporate culture, management capability, and work capability. These courses were attended by an aggregate total of 11,405 employees.

Training for new recruits
In-house training to disseminate the corporate culture and management philosophy


To pass on and instill the company’s basic philosophy, Chengdu Ito-Yokado, in tune with changes in the times, has introduced training methods that are easier for a new generation of employees to accept. It continued e-learning again in FY2022, offering a variety of courses on such topics as corporate culture, corporate strategy, and specialized knowledge by job category. The format of the courses was varied too, including short movies, videos, and animation. An aggregate total of 34,857 persons, including both Head Office and store staff, took the courses.

Promise Regarding the Environment


Energy-Saving Initiatives

Chengdu Ito-Yokado has been advocating an environmental philosophy of “respect for nature, adaptation to nature, and protection of nature” since FY2020, and it is continuing to separate resource garbage, improve the environmental infrastructure, collect recyclable waste, and so on. In FY2022, at a cost of 100 million yen, it switched to LED equipment for store lighting. In addition, the whole company is endeavoring to reduce carbon emissions by, among other initiatives, curbing food waste and collecting recyclable garbage. Nevertheless, gas usage is increasing, which is a problem in terms of reducing carbon emissions. The increased gas usage resulted from a switch, in consideration of the environment, in the boiler fuel used for winter heating from coal to natural gas. Going forward, the company will implement the control of gas usage.

Hua Tang Yokado Commercial is making efforts to properly operate the air-conditioning system that manages store temperature. By adjusting operating times and air-conditioned areas as necessary in response to weather and temperature changes, it reduces gas and electricity usage. In addition, it requests the facility administrator to carry out the detailed measurement of in-store temperature and, in response to temperature changes, adjusts the operating patterns of the air-conditioning equipment. Furthermore, Hua Tang Yokado Commercial is striving to curtail electricity usage. Among other things, it has introduced energy-saving lighting equipment at all store sales floor and has reduced backroom lighting usage by 50%. Nevertheless, because of increased construction work in the tenant part during store renovation, in FY2022, there was a rise in electricity and gas usage in the section unrelated to independent business, as a result of which energy usage in the store as a whole increased. Going forward, with the cooperation of in-store tenants, efforts will be made to reduce energy usage in the entire store.

Chengdu Ito-Yokado
FY2020 FY2021 FY2022
Number of stores 9 10 11
Energy consumption (standard coal tons) 13,553 13,580 12,140
Electricity consumption (MWh) 105,439 107,670 98,783
Gas usage (1,000 m3) 540 563 684
Water usage (1,000m3) 888 857 752
Hua Tang Yokado Commercial
FY2020 FY2021 FY2022
Number of stores 1 1 1
Energy consumption (standard coal tons) 1,434 1,353 1,408
Electricity consumption (MWh) 7,924 7,912 7,950
Gas usage (1,000 m3) 335 256 274
Water usage (1,000m3) 55 63 54

Award History (FY2022)

Chengdu Ito-Yokado and Hua Tang Yokado Commercial received the following awards in FY2022 in recognition of their various initiatives.

Chengdu Ito-Yokado
Names of Award Presenting Organization
FY2022 Best 10 Leader Companies  Chengdu Retailers' Association
FY2022 Social Value Contribution Award Chengdu Retailers' Association
FY2022 Promising Business Project: Financial City Store (lifestyle grocery stores) Chengdu Retailers' Association
FY2022 15-Minute Sphere Residents’ Daily Life Service Leader Prize: Shuangnan Store (grocery supermarket) Chengdu Retailers’ Association
FY2022 Chengdu Fashion Business Comprehensive Ranking: Business Promotion Grand Award Chengdu Economic Daily and Red Star Newspaper
FY2022 Consumers’ Review of Most Outstanding Golden Business Models in China Huaxi Metropolitan News Agency
Hua Tang Yokado Commercial
Names of Award Presenting Organization
FY2022 Class B Tax Payment Reliability Company Chaoyang State Taxation Bureau
FY2022 Leading Companies with Safest Production Systems Chaoyang District Xiaoguan Subdistrict

Initiatives in China