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DALLAS — 7-Eleven Inc. is bringing back its Zero Franchise Fee initiative with approximately 300 convenience stores added to the program.
Under the initiative, the retailer will waive the franchise fee on a select number of its U.S. stores available for franchising, a savings of up to $80,000.
Last year, the Zero Franchise Fee initiative allowed 100 people to become new 7-Eleven store owners or multiple store owners.
"We had such a great response last year when we launched the limited-time Zero Franchise Fee offer that we decided to bring it back," said Lawrence Hughes, 7-Eleven's vice president of franchise systems. "Hard-working Americans are always looking for great opportunities, and I think 7-Eleven is one of the best around.
"Becoming a 7-Eleven franchisee without the upfront expense of a franchise fee makes it an attainable goal for many who otherwise might not be able to own their own business," he added.
The roughly 300 eligible stores are in markets like Dallas; Cleveland; Charlotte, N.C.; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Buffalo, N.Y. These stores typically have lower sales volume compared to the national average.
The Zero Franchise Fee initiative returns as 7-Eleven has grown its store base by more than 1,600 locations through acquisitions and new construction over the past five years. The retailer wants to transition these stores from company to franchise operations now that they have an established customer base.
The convenience store retailer is offering these stores to prospective, qualified franchisees, as well as existing 7-Eleven franchisees who want to grow their retail business by adding more stores.
To qualify for the offer, a candidate must be at least 21 years old and a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency; have three to five years of retail, operations and management experience; and have excellent credit and at least $50,000 in liquid assets.
Prospective franchise owners will still be responsible for the costs of licensing, permits and the initial downpayment on inventory, totaling approximately $30,000. Prospective franchisees for Zero Franchise Fee stores will undergo the standard franchise approval process, which takes between five and seven months.
"Not only do franchisees get the power of the 7-Eleven brand behind them, but also a proven business system, extensive training and ongoing support as they build their businesses," Hughes said.
All Zero Franchise Fee opportunities also qualify for 7-Eleven's Gross Income Support Program, which provides additional limited-time financial support.
Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises and licenses more than 10,700 7-Eleven stores in North America.