FamilyMart Japan says almost half of its franchisees want to drop its signature 24-hour trading hours.

The firm conducted a recent survey among its around 14,000 franchises in Japan, of which 48.3 percent said they want to operate shorter hours, citing the cost of late-night operations and labor shortages. Of those, 73.3 percent wanted reduced hours every day, while 26.3 percent said that reduced hours one day a week would be sufficient.

The remaining stores indicated a wish to retain 24-hour operations to avoid a drop in sales.

Given the unexpectedly high interest in reducing store hours, FamilyMart Japan president Takashi Sawada announced: “We’ll build a system to ensure profits at franchisees.”

FamilyMart Japan currently has 24 stores experimenting with shorter daily operational hours and will increase that number to 700 from October. It will review its 24-hour policy next year.