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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- 7-Eleven Inc. is growing its presence in Southwest Florida by ramping up its franchise operations in the area.
The Dallas-based convenience store retailer is prepping plans to turn 56 corporate-owned stores from Marco Island to Venice into franchise locations. 7-Eleven's plans also call for eight new locations that will become franchises, according to the News-Press.com. The area currently has 37 franchisees who operate 66 stores.
"We've already got an existing presence there, and we want to add more stores where we already have successful operations," Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, told the news outlet.
Chabris added that Florida, which was one of the first states outside of Texas where 7-Eleven began to expand, has always been a good state for the retailer.
7-Eleven held a three-hour franchise seminar on March 25 and plans to hold two more on April 22 and May 14. The seminars will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the 7-Eleven office at 9351 Cypress Lake Drive.
"We're looking to find the right kind of franchisee to move into these stores and take them over," said Mike Bynes, franchise sales representative for 7-Eleven.
New 7-Eleven franchisee Miguel Robirosa began operating a store in Estero in mid-December. He will add a second location, in Fort Myers Beach, to his operations on April 15.
A former corporate executive, Robirosa explained that he chose 7-Eleven because it gave him an operation that was already running with a customer base. Plus, he said 7-Eleven is a proven business model with a lot of locations.
"It's almost a given you're going to be successful if you do what you have to do," he said.
7-Eleven operates, franchises and licenses more than 8,600 stores in the United States and Canada. Of its more than 7,800 U.S. stores, more than 6,200 are franchised.