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WORCHESTER, Mass. -- 7-Eleven Inc. began converting its New England chain of 58 White Hen Pantry convenience stores into 7-Eleven locations last week, including new signage, red and white décor, and 7-Eleven signature items, according to a report by Telegram.com.
"We believe we're getting stronger and stronger, and this is going to help us with that market share," Paul C. Donohoe, 7-Eleven operations transition manager for New England, said in the report. The chain already operated roughly 250 stores in the New England area.
Franchisees own nearly all the White Hen Pantry stores in New England, and when the company acquired the stores in 2006, it let them operate without changing the name, but now 7-Eleven will convert all 55 Massachusetts White Hen Pantry stores to 7-Eleven formats by the end of the year, the report stated.
Each store takes two weeks to change over, and new flooring, cases and counters will be installed. Also, 7-Eleven is paying for the renovations and waiving the franchising fees, although storeowners are required to invest in inventory, according to Telegram.com.
The first New England White Hen Pantry store to make the change marked the conversion on Friday with a celebration from 3 to 7 p.m. and promotions aimed at highlighting 7-Eleven's signature products, including 7-cent Slurpee beverages and 11-cent hot dogs, the report stated.
Amr Mohammad, who has owned the store for 16 years, told Telegram.com that under 7-Eleven his store is stocking a broader variety of products, including non-food items. Although the product mix has changed, he said, he has been pleased to see his sales have remained steady.
"We've had a lot of compliments from customers," Mohammad said in the report. "We are doing about 95 percent to 100 percent of the sales we used to do. The numbers tell you how the reaction is, and the numbers are where they used to be."
7-Eleven Nets New England Pantry