Seven & I Holdings is to launch a small supermarket format in cities across Japan this year, according to reports.

The format will be around 500-700sq m and the retailer is hoping to have a network of around 100 stores within three years, The Nikkei reported yesterday (18 August).

It is understood the stores will trade under the Ito-Yokado name and stock fresh produce as well as prepare dishes in a bid to cater to elderly shoppers and consumers unable to travel to larger stores.

Seven & I Holdings aims to have around ten stores open in Tokyo by next spring, with up to 100 in operation by 2013.