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    7-Eleven Puts Squeeze on Manhattan Bodegas

    New York magazine article asks how small stores will survive.

    NEW YORK -- 7-Eleven Inc.'s expansion plans in the New York City borough of Manhattan are the focus of a feature article in this month's New York magazine. The article portrays the Dallas-based convenience store giant as having the marketing power and technology sophistication to drive many of New York City's "quirky" bodegas out of business.

    The article primarily follows three-store franchisee Norman Jemal and his 7-Eleven field consultant Kunta Natapraya as they refine the local store's product mix based on detailed data from 7-Eleven's proprietary Retail Information System (RIS).

    According to the article, by Willy Staley, Jemal and Natapraya have been so successful at raising profits through efficient ordering that corporate asked them to give a presentation on the matter for a nationwide call.

    7-Eleven currently has 19 units in Manhattan, run by different franchisees, and hopes to have more than 100 stores on the island by 2017.

    The article asks how will bodegas be able to compete with 7-Eleven's systems?

    Sean Duffy, 7-Eleven's senior vice-president of development, told New York magazine that the expansion is part of the company's overall growth strategy. "We saw an opportunity in Manhattan --huge traffic counts, huge pedestrian traffic, [and] the need for convenience."

    The article also points out that 7-Eleven opened a third-party operated Commissary and Combined Distribution Center in Bohemia, Long Island, in 2009, which enables the retailer to supply its stores with fresh food. With more stores to service, the company can better leverage costs and make more profits. Expansion of the nationally-known c-store chain in some of Manhattan's grittier local neighborhoods hasn't all gone smoothly, though. Jemal faced some anti-corporate opposition last month when a black-clad group of anarchists broke the front window of his not-yet-opened store on St. Marks Place. However, the window was replaced and the store was open for business within a week.

    To read more, go to New York magazine.


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