Puregold Price Club Inc. has teamed up with Japanese retailer Lawson group to enter the 24/7 convenience store business. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday (June 13, 2014), Puregold said it had signed a joint venture agreement with Lawson Asia Pacific Inc. and Lawson Inc. to create a joint venture that would be 70-percent owned by Puregold. The new venture, expected to be rolled out over the next seven years, was approved by Puregold’s board in a recent meeting. The entry into the convenience store business, Puregold said, was a “natural extension” of its presence in the local retail landscape.
The company name of Lawson dates back to 1939 in Ohio, where J. J. Lawson ran a dairy milk store. Lawson subsequently established Lawson Milk Co. and developed this into a chain of stores selling various commodities, including daily necessities mainly in the north eastern part of the United States. In 1959, the company became an affiliate of the American food giant Consolidated Foods Inc. and continued to expand its network of stores out of Ohio while establishing a convenience store operating system.
Lawson’s operations in Japan began with the opening of the first Lawson store in Sakurazuka (Minami Sakurazuka in Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture) in 1975. At the time, Daiei, which was the parent company of Lawson, entered into a consulting agreement with Consolidated Foods. In September 1975, the first franchise store, the “Momoyama Store,” was opened and this heralded the full-scale deployment of the franchise chain.
Meanwhile, Puregold’s parent, conglomerate Cosco Capital, yesterday announced the consolidation of oil and mineral exploration contracts, assets and liabilities into Alcorn Petroleum and Minerals Corp. These include Cosco’s interests in six oil service contracts in Palawan and one in Leyte, as well as its 100-percent interest in an Iloilo mineral contract.