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MIAMI -- The South Florida landscape has been sporting more 7-Eleven convenience stores over the past couple of years and more are on the way.
The Dallas-based retail chain has been on an expansion drive in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties with 57 new or remodeled stores in the tri-county area since 2010. Fifteen more stores are slated to open by the end of the year in South Florida and 25 are on tap for 2013, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
"Florida has always been one of our key markets," Grant Distel, 7-Eleven Inc.'s development director for real estate and franchising in Florida, told the news outlet.
The push began in late 2010 when 7-Eleven a href="http://www.csnews.com/top-story-7_eleven_signs_agreement_with_exxonmobil..."> revealed plans to acquire ExxonMobil's retail interests in 183 locations in South Florida. Included in the acquisition is a combination of company- and dealer-operated sites located in Orlando, Southwest Florida, Palm Beach and Broward County. The 183 sites include five unused parcels of land, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Most of those spaces have already been converted into full 7-Eleven stores, the news outlet reported. "We took advantage to grow when the time was right," Margaret Chabris, a company spokeswoman, said. "Real estate values have come down from where they were five years ago. We're seeing a greater need for convenience and a demand for the services we sell."
7-Eleven is also stepping outside the freestanding box for additional locations. More stores are opening in shopping plazas and more urban areas to target customers in all South Florida. "We don't do cookie-cutter store models," Distel said. "When we target urban areas, there's much more of a focus on grab-and-go ready foods, quick personal items and things people want to grab fast going to or from work."
Most of the South Florida 7-Eleven locations are being refitted for an updated coffee bar section. In addition, 7-Eleven's new hot food bars are coming to South Florida stores, which sell on-the-go items like chicken tenders, wings, sliced pizza and tacos, the news report added.