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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven had an explosive 2012 when it comes to expansion, achieving record store growth by adding nearly 5,000 locations to its worldwide portfolio, just under 1,000 of which were in the United States and Canada, the company reported.
The world's largest retailer by store count also reported that it expects to pass the 50,000 mark in global store count by the end of this year's first quarter.
"2012 was a tremendous year for us in terms of organic store growth, acquisitions and business conversions," stated 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. "We expect accelerated growth in North America to continue, and we also see many more opportunities for international expansion."
The tremendous growth wasn't an accident; 7-Eleven previously declared that record growth was its goal. The Dallas-based c-store chain's focus on maintaining a strong balance sheet prior to and throughout the financial crisis helped it retain a solid footing, allowing it to take advantage of a soft real estate market, as CSNews Online previously reported. Approximately 60 percent of the retailer's U.S. growth came in the form of multi-store acquisitions.
At the end of 2012, 7-Eleven operated, franchised and licensed more than 10,000 stores in North America, and more than 39,000 stores in Europe, Australia and Asia, for a total of approximately 49,500 stores in 16 countries.
Moving forward, 7-Eleven's U.S. growth strategy is to build market concentration in metropolitan areas in order to increase efficiencies and leverage the company's scale and daily-delivery infrastructure, the company told CSNews.