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    7-Eleven Making Progress with Conversion to Franchise Operations

    Company-operated stores now available for franchising to general public.

    DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc., which began an aggressive plan to convert the majority of its company-operated stores into franchised operations in 2006, now has 4,100 franchised stores, representing 75 percent of its more than 5,600 U.S. store network.

    The goal, announced two years ago, is to convert the most of the stores to franchised operations by 2012.

    "The power of a 7-Eleven franchise over other convenience store franchise options is that it is one of the most recognizable and strongest trademarks and brand names in the world," Dennis Lane, a 34-year 7-Eleven store franchisee and chairman of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Stores, said in a statement. "7-Eleven originated the convenience store concept, and has the infrastructure, tools, technical support and everything necessary to support the franchisee."

    Existing 7-Eleven store managers were given first choice to apply for a franchise and many took advantage of the opportunity. The offer is now available to the public.

    "7-Eleven's movement to convert its company-operated stores offers an opportunity for people in the community to franchise their own business using an established, successful system supported by a world-class retailer," Desi Desormeaux, 7-Eleven franchise sales manager for Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland and North Carolina, said in a statement.

    7-Eleven provides the land, building, equipment and a turn-key operation for its franchisees. The average up-front, total investment for a 7-Eleven franchise is between $175,000 and $250,000, although this amount may vary significantly by store and region of the country. This investment is based on the store's actual sales history and includes the inventory, supplies, business licenses, permits, bonds, cash register fund as well as a franchise fee, the amount of which may vary depending on the store's location.

    "7-Eleven offers a proven business model and well-recognized brand," said Desormeaux. "Ours is an entry-level franchise that provides a variety of services for a new business operator. Franchisees have a vested interest in knowing their customers and communities and are in the best position to understand and respond to their local retail needs, which builds customer loyalty and sales."

    Unlike other franchise models that take a percent of sales, 7-Eleven shares in the store's merchandise gross profits.

    Those interested in learning more about franchise opportunities can go to 7-Eleven.com, click on the franchising tab to find information on 7-Eleven's upcoming franchisee opportunity seminars, or they can call 1-800-255-0711.

    7-Eleven has undergone a number of changes over the past three years. Convenience Store News provided in-depth analysis on 7-Eleven’s new direction in a cover story report in its July 7, 2008 issue, entitled, "The Giant Awakens: 7-Eleven sharpens its focus to serve franchisees with more efficient merchandising and distribution network."

    To read the July cover story, click here.

    Separately, 7-Eleven also is expanding through its Business Conversion Program (BCP), where independent business owners interested in converting their retail operation to a 7-Eleven store can apply to qualify. BCP provides many similar benefits as 7-Eleven's traditional, individual-store franchise model, while allowing an independent store operator with at least 1,800 square feet of selling space the opportunity to own or lease his store site. Upon agreement, 7-Eleven installs proprietary equipment and assists in converting the store to a 7-Eleven-branded location.

    7-Eleven is ranked as the No. 1 U.S. franchise opportunity by Entrepreneur magazine for 2008 and has received similar accolades by other business and trade publications. For 14 consecutive years, 7-Eleven has been listed among Hispanic Magazine's Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics, while Hispanic Trends Magazine included the company among its 2005 "Top Franchises for Hispanics." In August, the retailer won the 2008 Hispanic Retail Excellence Award for the c-store category from the Hispanic Retail 360 Summit, conducted by Convenience Store News and Progressive Grocer magazines.

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