Despite the tough economic climate, Lawson is anticipating a tenth straight year of operating income growth. This impressive track record is testament to the brand’s continued innovation. The company is staying ahead of wider demographic trends with new formats such as Lawson Store 100 for fresh food and Natural Lawson for the more health conscious. This approach has helped the brand reach out beyond the younger male customer, to seniors and women. The company is also looking to capitalize on the aging population through Lawson Pharmacy which will offer prescription drugs. Online, Akiko-chan is the face of the brand. With over 200,000 Twitter followers and a presence on all the major social media platforms, this clever personalization of the company’s communications is clearly working. However, with more consolidation likely, the brand will need to stay nimble to keep ahead of competitors.