One of Japan's largest convenience store chains is to begin pricing food differently depending on the economic health of the region individual stores are based in.

According to local reports, Circle K Sunkus Co, which is Japan's No. 4 convenience store chain, the plan to price food more cheaply in rural regions compared to the more affluent urban centres will be adopted as early as next spring.

The Sankei Shimbun newspaper said the plan includes prices for Circle K Sunkus' private brand boxed lunches, rice balls, baked goods and other items. It will not involve national brands produced by other companies.

The report said this would be the first time a major convenience store chain used a region-based pricing system.