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DALLAS — 7-Eleven Inc. boosted the number of stores under its Zero Franchise Fee Initiative to approximately 310 locations.
The program could save an operator up to $80,000. 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto first introduced the initiative at the 7-Eleven Experience in Las Vegas, the company's annual franchisee convention in February, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Many of the stores in the program are in states where 7-Eleven acquired stores over the past few years, such as Florida and the Carolinas. Specifically, according to a company listing, stores included in the program are in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
The Zero Franchise Fee Initiative runs through June.
According to a CT Small Business Toolkit Podcast with Dorian Cunion, manager of franchise marketing and recruitment for 7-Eleven, the retailer saw a lot of interest in franchising over the past year, but the individuals lacked the capital to get involved.
"We wanted to open up the door a little bit for these individuals and provide some opportunities to individuals to franchise with us with no franchise fee," Cunion said.
Franchisees will still be responsible for $26,000 in costs associated with franchising a store, he added.
The Zero Franchise Fee Initiative is similar to a program the retailer runs with veterans. According to Cunion, his team saw a large number of veterans who were interested in franchising a 7-Eleven store, but did not have the financial resources.
In addition to waiving the franchise fee for qualified veterans, 7-Eleven provides a $20,000 loan that does not have to be paid back if the franchisee stays in the store for two years.
"This will open the door for so many great veterans to franchise with 7-Eleven," said Cunion.
All potential franchisees must be 21 years old, have the right to work and live in the United States and good credit history. There are also qualities that cannot be measured. For example, 7-Eleven is looking for franchisees who possess business acumen, are a team player, resilient and open to change.
"With our convenience store industry, we are constantly trying to evolve and make sure we are taking care of our guests," Cunion explained. "We are looking for new franchisees that are going to grow and change with us."
Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses 10,500 7-Eleven stores in North America.