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DALLAS -- In a continuation of its franchise conversion program, 7-Eleven Inc. is turning 188 of its company-run stores in Texas to franchised operations -- a first for its stores in the Lonestar state.
The company began its franchise conversion program in Utah and Colorado in 2005, and, as a result, franchisees operate more than 60 percent of 7-Eleven's Utah stores and 20 percent of those in Colorado. 7-Eleven entered the franchising business in 1964 when it purchased 127 franchised Speedee Marts in California, and today, approximately 3,650 -- or 65 percent -- of 7-Eleven's 5,600 U.S. stores are currently franchised.
"7-Eleven provides a proven business opportunity for people around the world, and one that is attainable," 7-Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto said in a written statement. "As the company focuses on moving more decision-making to the stores, our franchise model gives both the local business owner and our company the opportunity for the greatest success."
Current 7-Eleven store mangers will be the first to have the opportunity to apply for a 7-Eleven franchise. The company will provide the land, building and equipment for stores, and franchisees will share in the operation's gross profits.
"Already, 90 store managers have contacted us, and 35 are actively going through the screening and approval process to purchase their own stores," said Franchise Sales Manager Tim Lankford. "Store managers have an added advantage because they know first hand what it takes to run a successful 7-Eleven operation."
The process to convert the stores from company-operated to franchisee-operated will take about five years to complete, Lankford estimated. The franchise approval process takes four to six months, and more time is needed for alcohol licensing in states and locales where alcohol sales are permitted.
Three current managers -- John Roddy, Motiul Bhuiyan and Tony Nguyen -- have agreed to take over the company-operated stores they currently run and become franchisees.
"As a store manager, I see this opportunity to become one of the first franchisees in Texas as a great economic reward for all the hard work I've done as a manager," said Roddy, a 13-year manager in Grand Prairie, Texas.
"I want to provide my employees the same support and career growth opportunities they received as 7-Eleven employees," said Motiul Bhuiyan, a Bangladesh native. "Who knows? They may want to become franchisees themselves one day. I want to support them in achieving that in any way I can."
The change affects 7-Eleven operations in North Texas and the Austin, Killeen, and Temple areas.