Seven-Eleven Japan, the country's largest retailer, said sales at the bulk of its stores had been shrinking this year. Sales, excluding new stores, have fallen more than 1% year on year in January and 4% in February. It is the first time since August 1998 that the convenience store operator, the country's fourth largest company by market value, has seen a decline in sales in consecutive months. Convenience stores have generally overcome the recent problems of the Japanese economy with new store openings and by expanding their services into e-commerce. l See page 38 {{NEWS }}