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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven was named 2008 Franchisor of the Year by the Franchise Council of Australia.
The retailer was awarded for its continued product and store innovation, strong franchisee partnerships and consistent growth in recent years, according to a report by Foodweek.com.au.
The annual award recognizes best practices in business franchising and promotes the economic value of a strong franchising sector in Australia. 7-Eleven was recognized specifically for its success in building effective working partnerships with franchisees, created through active listening programs such as the Franchisee Advisory Council.
These partnerships were part of 7-Eleven's 'Energizing Everyone' plan, a 10-year blueprint for the company's growth launched in 2007 and includes a $22 million, 5-year investment plan.
"We've recognized that changing consumer tastes have led to declining sales in traditional core convenience store products such as confectionery and tobacco," said Warren Wilmot, CEO of 7-Eleven in Australia.
Wilmot credited the "Energizing Everyone" program for refocusing the company and its franchisees on more profitable growth categories, such as Slurpees and fresh prepared food. 7-Eleven also introduced new products such as public transport tickets and ATM services in many of its stores, which increased foot traffic and sales, claimed Wilmot.
"We are delighted through this award, to be recognized as a best practice business both in retailing and in the overall franchise sector," the CEO told Foodweek. "It reflects the commitment and efforts of our staff and our 340 franchisees across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland."
Earlier this year, Entrepreneur magazine named 7-Eleven’s American-based operation, headquartered in Dallas, as the No. 1 franchise opportunity for 2008.