Wednesday, 20 April 2011

What our 24 hour global economy has to offer us, or how close is the nearest 7/11?

Today I wanted to know how much convenience our 24 hours modern economy actually has to offer to us, the people.
Sure the internet gave us more information, easy communication, e-shopping and e-commerce etc., but still not everybody will be able to easily obtain more essential things like basic food, drinks and condoms when needed.
A solution which comes closest is being offered in countries where w're able to buy life necessities at any time of the day at the nearest 7/11. Okay besides 7/11 the're many other convenience stores, but data is not publicly available. Besides that Japanese owned 7/11 is world's largest, best known and widely appreciated; it even has it's own official page on facebook with many people who encountered the luxery abroad requesting to open outlets in their home country.
Below is a map of capita per 7/11 which I created with targetmap, covering 17 active countries (China, Hong Kong and Macau regarded as one).
It turns out that Taiwan has the most 7/11's per capita offering one store per 4,898 citizens. Singapore follows with one per 9,281 people. Third ranking is home base Japan with one per 9,900. (Data mentioned by wikipedia and some other websites need to be updated.)
In these countries it's not uncommon to find shops facing eachother on both sides of the road, very much a  contrast to huge area's of the world like Africa, South America, West and North Asia and practically all of Europe where people are still deprived of up to date standard basic life necessities for large parts of the day. Just the relatively small populations of Norway, Sweden and Denmark seem to form about the only exception here.
Thailand, where I'm fortunate enough to live right now, is 5% the size of the US, but offers one store for every 11,845 people to choose from, open 24 hours per day. The US offers one 7/11 per 37,950 inhabitants but luckily they compensated with enough alternatives.
In these countries things are taken for granted, but we often forget that people in large parts of the world still lack any basic comfort concerning this matter at all.
One may find it hard to believe, but in fact in some more fundamentalist regimes, mostly situated in Europe, will not tolerate 7/11's formula by law. This measure oppresses store owners and clients to restrict service to daytime and early evening only, whereby service on sunday's is prohibited all day. How disrespectful towards the people's freedom of choise regarding day/night schedule and non-Christian religions to say the least.
See below the sad truth of the unfair inequality in our world today..
Capita per 7/11

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