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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. is not only facing problems in a court of law, but new consumer perception numbers suggest the convenience store retailer is also facing problems in the court of public opinion.
According to YouGov BrandIndex, a daily brand consumer perception research service, general feelings about the Dallas-based c-store chain have slipped since June 17 when federal officials seized 14 7-Eleven franchise stores in Long Island, N.Y., and Virginia, charging nine owners and managers with harboring and hiring illegal immigrants and paying them using fake social security numbers.
7-Eleven was measured with YouGov BrandIndex's "Impression" score, which asked respondents, "Do you have a general positive feeling about the brand?" Results were measured for adults aged 18 and older who are aware of 7-Eleven, according to the research company. The scores range from 100 to minus 100.
On June 11, 7-Eleven reached its highest Impression score of the year with a 3. However, on June 21 -- four days after the raid -- 7-Eleven's Impression score dipped to minus 13, its lowest level of the year so far.
As of June 27, the retailer's Impression score ticked up slightly to minus 10.
In the wake of the action by federal officials, 7-Eleven initiated an I-9 compliance check, instructing its franchisees to conduct an internal review of their personnel files to confirm they are in compliance by June 30. Beginning today, field consultants and market managers will visit each store to review all I-9 documents for completion and substantive compliance, as CSNews Online previously reported.
YouGov BrandIndex interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. The research firm conducts more than 1.2 million interviews per year. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of more than 1.5 million individuals.