Global Cases

Summit, a supermarket continually evolving in line with customer’s tastes and lifestyles


More than 50 years of "Sincere Work"

Summit, a Sumitomo Corporation Group's supermarket, has 122 stores (as of March 31, 2023) in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama, and has been committed to community-based service since its first store opened in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward in 1963. It has grown to become one of the leading supermarkets in the Tokyo metropolitan area, with FY2020 consolidated sales exceeding 300 billion yen for the first time in its history.

Summit has vowed to work with all people surrounding the company with sincerity, a management philosophy based on Sumitomo's business philosophy of not pursuing easy gains while placing prime importance on integrity. In accordance with this philosophy, Summit endeavors to ensure safety and security for the food that people eat, thus enriching their lives and helping them attain their dreams.

Kitchen area for "sozai" grilled dishes made open to shoppers to enable them to watch the cooking in progress (Photo taken at Summit’s Hon-amanuma store)

Creative approaches to product and store development

One characteristic of Summit is its thoroughly rationalized store management. The key tool for this purpose is the Labor Scheduling Program (L.S.P), introduced to promote efficient store operations. Summit has also been adapting designs, product selections, provision methods and services to changes in the lifestyles and needs of its customers to provide them with what they want ahead of its competitors. This approach has been continually updated to keep up with the times.

Summit has established a system for quickly meeting the needs of local customers, by providing various goods and services not available at the stores of other retail chains. For instance, many stores have created eat-in spaces where customers can eat items purchased in the store, and these areas serve as community spaces where customers living in the neighborhood can relax. We also focus on sections providing ready-to-eat cooked foods, which are a priority for Summit. At these stores, fresh and delicious foods are cooked in a kitchen just beside the shopping area, using the vegetables, fish and meat that are on sale, and then served directly to customers at the grilled kitchen section, boiled and grilled fish section ("sozai" section), and the bakery. In the bakery section, pizza is baked in a special pizza oven, while bread is baked using dough kneaded from the flour. Like the "sozai" grilled dish section, the bakery area is open to shoppers so they can see the food being baked and appreciate the freshness of the bread. Given the rise in the number of single-person households, vegetables are offered loose, in small packages, and in precut form.

Sections for "ready-to-eat" cooked foods (Photo taken at Summit’s Mita store)
Sections for "ready-to-eat" cooked foods (Photo taken at Summit’s Mita store)

Meanwhile, shoppers are able to taste various food items and seasonings in another special area. Furthermore, a shopping concierge is posted at Summit stores to assist customers.

Summit develops a diverse range of store formats. Our recent focus is on establishing small stores in central Tokyo, represented by the Nabeya-yokocho store and KANDA SQUARE store opened in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Also, DX initiatives are being implemented for various purposes, including offering new shopping experiences and helping solve social issues, such as food loss, by ensuring appropriate order placement.

A "Try a Bite" corner offering up to six types of products each day for customers to sample, as well as cooking and presentation suggestions. (Photo taken at Summit’s Mita store) Note: Some services such as eat-in spaces and the "Try a Bite" section are temporarily suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Summit's smallest urban store with a total sales floor area of about 330 square meters (Photo taken at Summit's KANDA SQUARE store)

Make supermarkets in Japan enjoyable

"To Make supermarkets in Japan enjoyable" is Summit's business vision from FY2017. The aim is to remain a popular supermarket supported by customers by changing product lineups, presentation methods, and store designs as needed to keep up with changes in people's tastes and lifestyles as well as the competitive environment.

A key idea is making maximum use of the advantages that come with being a member of the Sumitomo Corporation Group. The functions and established track record of our Real Estate Division can be leveraged to further improve property development, and collaboration in food procurement can be pursued with the Food & Agriculture Business Division. Tapping into the characteristics unique to the Sumitomo Corporation Group, which encompasses numerous Group companies that directly interact with consumers, Summit will continue growing alongside its fellow Group members.

Summit established the Kawasaki Shiohama Process Center in December 2018 in collaboration with SC Foods Co., Ltd. This food processing facility is intended to bolster Summit stores' meat and "sozai" dish sections and improve their service provision by streamlining in-store operations in the meat section in anticipation of future staffing difficulties at Summit stores due to labor shortages.

This Center makes it possible to reduce the current kitchen space allocation at Summit stores in favor of sales floor space, with the aim of making the stores, especially the smaller ones, more competitive.

Complete self-checkout system installed in some stores. (Photo taken at Summit's KANDA SQUARE store)

"GO GREEN" Challenge Initiative toward achieving SDGs

In July 2021, Summit set “GO GREEN” Challenge Initiative, which outlines the focus for social issues to contribute to the sustainable development of society.

Summit aims to address not only the global environment, but also local communities and customers, social contribution, and providing an employee-friendly, rewarding workplace.

Specifically, as an environmental initiative, Summit is actively promoting resources recycling for plastic bottles. We started a used plastic bottle collection service using automated collection machines manufactured by Tomra Japan Ltd., a Sumitomo Corporation Group company. This service allows customers to actively participate in the resources recycling , and has been introduced at the Setagaya Funabashi store newly opened in 2022.

In addition, Summit has embarked on a new project to go beyond the conventional concept of the supermarket and contribute to healthy longevity based on food and health. The project is called the "Healthy Community Corner" service, commonly known as "Kenkomi," launched in collaboration with KOKUBU GROUP, Tomod's (a Sumitomo Corporation Group company), and Sumitomo Corporation. Kenkomi was started on a trial basis at the Summit Hatogaya station square store and is now offered in four stores. Through health advice and the introduction of healthy recipes, we aim to play a part in helping local customers enjoy a rich life.

Kenkomi healthy community corner. (Photo taken at Summit's Hatogaya Station Square Store)
Automated plastic bottle collection machines produced by Tomra Japan Ltd.

April 2023


  • Japan
  • Retail Service Operations
  • Lifestyle Business Group

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