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#trending: S'pore Redditors envious that ‘rest of Southeast Asia’ has FamilyMart stores, list favourite snacks

SINGAPORE — A meme posted on Reddit of how "the rest of Southeast Asia" has FamilyMart stores, but Singapore does not, has triggered a discussion on why the convenience store franchise is not available here. 

#trending: S'pore Redditors envious that ‘rest of Southeast Asia’ has FamilyMart stores, list favourite snacks
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  • A meme posted on Reddit has triggered a discussion on why the FamilyMart convenience store franchise is available in 'the rest of Southeast Asia' but not here
  • FamilyMart is a popular Japanese convenience store franchise with more than 24,570 stores across multiple countries, including Malaysia
  • Redditors expressed their wishes for a FamilyMart chain to open here and noted some popular food items that they liked

SINGAPORE — A meme posted on Reddit of how "the rest of Southeast Asia" has FamilyMart stores, but Singapore does not, has triggered a discussion on why the convenience store franchise is not available here. 

Redditors expressed their desire for a FamilyMart chain to open here and listed some popular food items available at the stores that they liked.

FamilyMart is a popular convenience store franchise from Japan and is the second biggest chain in the country after 7-Eleven. The chain boasts more than 24,570 stores across Japan, mainland China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. 

It most recently opened across the Causeway in 2016.

On Sept 19, Reddit user “Unfair-Bike'' published a post titled “FamilyMart sells lots of nice things in Malaysia”. The post is of a meme featuring Jean Grey, Cyclops and Wolverine who are superheroes from the animated television show, X-Men: The Animated Series. 

Followers of the Marvel series would be familiar with the love triangle between the three characters.

In the meme, a FamilyMart logo is superimposed against an image of Jean Grey kissing her boyfriend Cyclops, along with the text “the rest of Southeast Asia”. The second image is a wider view of the scene, with Wolverine apparently representing Singapore and looking forlorn. 

The popular meme is often used to express loneliness and exclusion.

An overwhelming 98 per cent of Reddit users who saw Unfair-Bike’s post agreed with it. The post received about 1,650 upvotes.

Fans of FamilyMart shared their top food picks in the comments, which included mochi puffs, matcha ice cream, strawberry cake, tom yum-flavoured oden and "Famichiki" fried chicken.

In Malaysia, the franchise is best known for its various iterations of oden — Japanese fish and crab cakes cooked in a warm and hearty broth. Customers can choose from the original Dashi broth or spice things up with regional flavours such as tom yum or curry.

The convenience store has recently become a must-visit for some Singaporeans travelling across the Causeway.

Some Redditors also proposed theories as to why FamilyMart has not reached Singapore’s shores.

One user wrote: “Too many 7-Eleven and Cheers around Singapore is (probably) the reason why FamilyMart can't get in, my guess.”

Another said: “No point going into a market already dominated by your competitor (7-Eleven) but I also wish it did…”

To this, another person replied: “As someone who's been to FamilyMart, they're leagues ahead of 7-Eleven in terms of food.”

Others noted that it may be too late for the chain to enter the market.

One person commented: “Now (DonDonDonki) is already opening left and right, (with) some branches opening 24 hours and 7-Eleven bringing in more bentos, onigiri, snacks. Not sure if they'll still capture any share of the market.”

A handful of others were doubtful that the Japanese convenience store chain would achieve the same level of success in Southeast Asia as it did in its home ground.

One Redditor wrote: “Even (FamilyMarts in Southeast Asia are) considered incomplete when (compared) to the original Japan FamilyMart.”

Another remarked: “There are many good and cheaper food options in Southeast Asia that you can (find at) hawkers or street food. In Japan, (convenience store food) is considered the cheapest and (most) convenient food options out there.”

TODAY has sought comment from FamilyMart's head office in Tokyo on whether a franchisee might eventually operate in Singapore.

Related topics

convenience store 7-eleven japan Malaysia trending

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