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HOUSTON -- 7-Eleven Inc. may be based in Texas, but some areas are lacking the familiar red and green banner.
After a nearly 30-year absence in Houston, the Dallas-based convenience store chain said last year that it would be setting up shop in the market. To that end, the retailer bought three metro-area convenience stores, which are expected to be transformed into the 7-Eleven brand, spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the Houston Chronicle.
However, the remodels are not far enough along for those c-stores to display the 7-Eleven sign and sell Slurpees or Big Gulps, she added.
According to Chabris, the transitions are taking a while to complete because the company is working through a long list of recent acquisitions. From 2011 through 2013, 7-Eleven bought "hundreds and hundreds" of existing properties, mostly in the eastern half of the United States, including Texas, she said.
"We had to set up a whole new infrastructure for managing these newly acquired stores," Chabris explained, noting that deciding which locations will become 7-Eleven stores is a case-by-case process.
Factors in the decision include the store's sales record, customer count and whether it's in a location the company has targeted for expansion. To this point, the company has focused its remodeling efforts on Austin and San Antonio, but it still wants to add stores in Houston, Chabris said.
"We are interested in looking at other sites that we could convert to 7-Elevens in the Houston area, whether it's just ground to build on, an existing convenience store or a different kind of shop," she told the newspaper.