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    Southwest Florida Is Prime Growth Target for 7-Eleven

    Forty new convenience stores will pop up in the region over the next five years.
     

    DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. continues its march across the Sunshine State, with plans to add approximately 40 convenience stores in a five-county region in Southwest Florida.

    The Dallas-based retailer has already expanded in the area with 38 new 7-Eleven locations since 2011, according to a report by The News Press.

    "We have specifically targeted Southwest Florida for growth because we see a real opportunity there," said Grant Distel, senior development director for 7-Eleven in Florida. "It is a very strong market, and our brand and our service is already well recognized."

    In a two-year span, 7-Eleven has expanded its Southwest Florida presence by partnering with franchise owners to convert other c-stores to the 7-Eleven brand, and by opening stores in more non-traditional locations, including those without fuel pumps.

    "Each of our stores is based on that specific site and we customize the merchandise for each store," Distel told the news outlet. For example, a store near a business center will feature a broader range of lunch options with sandwiches and fruit, while a store in a residential neighborhood will have more household goods and pet food. A beach store, on the other hand, will highlight snacks and drinks.

    The stores range from 2,500 to 3,500 square feet and employ nine to 20 people each, he noted.

    In addition to opening stores, 7-Eleven is looking to sell and convert about 50 existing, corporate-owned store to franchises.

    The retailer's push into Florida began in late 2010 when 7-Eleven revealed plans to acquire ExxonMobil Corp.’s retail interests of 183 locations in South Florida. Included in that acquisition was a combination of company- and dealer-operated sites in Orlando, Southwest Florida, Palm Beach and Broward County. The deal also included five unused parcels of land, as CSNews Online previously reported.

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