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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. plans to open 200 stores in New Jersey, this year and next year, according to a report by app.com.
The company will open five 7-Eleven stores in Monmouth County and three in Ocean County this year. It has 31 stores in Monmouth County and 28 in Ocean County, according to The Goldstein Group, a commercial real estate firm in Paramus, N.J.
"7-Eleven stores in the area perform well, and we see a still-growing demand from the consumer for additional 7-Eleven stores," 7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris said.
7-Eleven is taking offensive and defensive measures in the convenience store market, retail consultant and managing director of Strategic Resources, Burt Flickinger III told app.com. Their biggest competitive threat: convenience store chains Wawa, which has multiple stores along the Jersey Shore, and Sheetz, a chain based in Altoona, Pa., which does not have any stores in New Jersey.
"7-Eleven is trying to get as many good sites in New Jersey and New York City as [the company] can to try to connect with more consumers before the twin powers of strength -- Wawa and Sheetz -- really take the New Jersey and New York and New England markets by storm over the next five to 15 years," said Flickinger.
According to Strategic Resources, Flickinger's firm, consumers between the ages of 14 and 35 will go to convenience stores three or more times a week as compared with a weekly supermarket trip.
High vacancy rates at strip centers and shopping centers are giving 7-Eleven plenty of choices.
"They are very smart and they are very aggressive," said Chuck Lanyard, president of The Goldstein Group. "The marketplace is such that there are numerous opportunities out there that weren't available before as a result of this economy."
In the retail corridors of Monmouth and Ocean counties, vacancy rates are between 3 percent and nearly 13 percent.
"Many other retailers are scaling back or reversing their growth plans," 7-Eleven's Chabris told app.com. "In some cases, this opens the way for 7-Eleven to become an anchor tenant at a retail center."
The chain is focusing on opening convenience stores, not gasoline stations, she said. The company does, however, have a program where gas station operators can convert their existing repair bay into a 7-Eleven.
In other 7-Eleven news, The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has named Darren Rebelez, the retailer's executive vice president and COO, co-chairman for its 31st Annual National Convention and Business Expo in Dallas, Sept. 22 to 25, 2010.
Rebelez, a veteran executive of the convenience store and restaurant industries, has responsibility for operations, franchising, real estate, information technology, facilities, construction, maintenance, gasoline, business transformation, loss prevention and operations support for approximately 6,400 U.S. and Canadian 7-Eleven stores. He will serve alongside Nina Vaca, convention chair and CEO of Dallas-based Pinnacle Technical Resources Inc., which was recently ranked 30th on the 2009 Hispanic Business 500 and is the largest diversity-owned IT staffing and vendor management company in the country.
The four-day event will provide business-focused workshops and panels, networking receptions, business matching opportunities and many other resources critical to the continued growth and success of the Hispanic entrepreneurial community, which numbers nearly 3 million strong nationwide.
"This convention provides a unique opportunity to bring together thousands of Hispanic entrepreneurs, corporate executives, procurement professionals and key government and elected officials here in Dallas," Rebelez said. "I am honored to have been named co-chairman and look forward to contributing to the continued success of the USHCC and its convention. Dallas is a special convention location due to its demographics and the important roles Hispanics play in our community."
Javier Palomarez, USHCC President and CEO, added: "I look forward to working with Darren and am confident that his assistance will be critical in making our convention the key meeting place for America's Hispanic entrepreneurs and those who can partner with them to create new opportunities in the decade ahead."
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