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    7-Eleven Gearing Up for Canadian Expansion

    The chain plans to open up to 200 new locations in Ontario from 2012 to 2016, focusing on greater Toronto.

    TORONTO -- 7-Eleven Inc. will announce its plans to open up to 200 new stores in Ontario, Canada from 2012 to 2016 at this week's International Council of Shopping Centres conference, according to a Financial Post report. The convenience store chain’s expansion will focus on the greater Toronto area.

    "What is driving our growth plan is we believe we are incredibly under-stored in a vibrant area of Canada," said Ken Barnes, regional development director for 7-Eleven. "There are a lot of people here and not nearly enough 7-Elevens."

    The expansion would significantly boost 7-Eleven's presence in Toronto, which the company reportedly views as a business-friendly growth market. It currently operates 467 locations in Canada.

    7-Eleven has hired Behar Group Realty Inc. to handle the expansion, according to the report. "They are looking all over the place," said Chief Executive Avi Behar.

    Store models for the expansion are expected to be flexible enough to fit in with downtown Toronto as well as the suburbs. And the company isn't wasting any time scouting for the new locations -- there are plans to finish at least a dozen deals by the end of this year.

    According to Barnes, some of the new stores may open in condominium buildings if the deal is right.

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