Japanese convenience store chain Lawson revealed yesterday [Wednesday] that during and after the fiscal year ending February 2004, it plans to increase its store portfolio by 300 outlets on a net basis.

It will do this by opening 600 new outlets a year, and closing 300 loss-making or ageing stores every year.

By the end of the current fiscal year, in February 2003, Lawson will have closed 500 stores and opened 500 new outlets.

Lawson believes that such reorganisation will lay the foundations for future profit growth, and protect the company from the recent weakening in sales in the convenience store sector in Japan.