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    7-Eleven Marks Beginnings with Hometown Celebration

    The convenience store chain began operating out of an ice dock in 1927.

    DALLAS -- It all started in Oak Cliff, Texas in 1927. Now 7-Eleven Inc. is celebrating its history -- from the sale of milk and break on an ice dock to 40,000 convenience stores around the world -- with a reception today at its One Arts Plaza in Dallas.

    "Last year, 7-Eleven opened more than 2,500 7-Eleven stores globally, or about one new store every 3 ½ hours," president and CEO Joe DePinto said. "The growth potential is tremendous, both domestically and internationally, as we operate in only 16 countries today. We are continuing to aggressively pursue expansion across the chain.

    "Around the world, 7-Eleven is a franchise business with approximately 75 percent of stores franchised by independent business operators running local neighborhood stores. These local stores can take advantage of scale and support under the 7-Eleven brand," he added. "As our store count rises, so too do the franchising opportunities for qualified businessmen and women around the world to be their own boss."

    Aside from giving people the opportunity to become their own boss, the convenience store chain also boosts local economies. Approximately 10 to 11 full-time and part-time store associates work in each store in the United States and overseas, pumping dollars into the local communities. All total, according to a company release, more than 30,000 new jobs and business opportunities are created each year.

    "This significant store growth is a job-stimulus package in itself," De Pinto explained. "When 7-Eleven opens a store, we create new jobs and business prospects in the community. This ranges from franchising, management and store staff positions to more work for local suppliers, contractors and construction crews. We also add to the local tax revenues for neighborhood schools and city services."

    But it is not all about business. The company also contributes to numerous charities and sponsors several programs that benefit communities. To highlight 7-Eleven's commitment, DePinto will present a $40,000 donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters during today's milestone event.

    7-Eleven expanded beyond the U.S. borders in 1969 when it moved into Canada; two years later it created joint venture with Mexico. As for figures, the company grew from one store in 1927 to 100 stores in 1952 to 10,000 stores in 1984 with today's count coming in at 40,000.

    Other 7-Eleven milestones include:

    • 1949: 7-Eleven becomes the first convenience retailer to air television commercials.
    • 1964: Coffee-to-go was introduced to U.S. consumers by a 7-Eleven store on Long Island, N.Y.
    • 1966: 7-Eleven introduces the Slurpee.
    • 1984: 7-Eleven becomes the first convenience store to offer ATM service.
    • 2010: 7-Eleven partners with social gaming company Zynga in its first retail promotion with millions of consumers redeeming exclusive virtual items for popular online games.

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