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7-Eleven, Inc.
  • Southland Ice Company (1927 only)
  • Tote'm Stores (1928–1946)
  • Southland Corporation (1961–1999)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryRetail (convenience stores)
Founded1927 (97 years ago) (1927) (as Southland Ice Company)
FounderJoe C. Thompson
Number of locations
78,029 (2021)[1]
Key people
ProductsConvenience foods and beverages, gasoline
Number of employees
135,332[1] (2021)
ParentSeven-Eleven Japan (Seven & i Holdings)

7-Eleven is an international brand of convenience stores. In 2021, there were over 78,000 stores in the world. There are 7-Eleven stores in 19 different countries.

The first 7-Eleven store was in the city of Dallas. The company that owns it, Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd., is located in Tokyo.[2] Seven-Eleven Japan is held by the Seven & I Holdings Co. holding company.[3]

Name[change | change source]

The company's first stores were named "Tote'm Stores" because customers "toted" (carried) away the things they bought. Some stores had totem poles in front of the store. In 1946, the brand's name was changed to "7-Eleven" because it was open from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.[4] In November 1999, the company's name was changed from "The Southland Corporation" to "7-Eleven Inc."[5][6]

History[change | change source]

In 1927, Southland Ice Company employee John Jefferson Green sold eggs, milk, and bread from one of 16 ice house storefronts in Dallas. One of Southland's founding directors, Joe C. Thompson Sr., let him do this.[7] Even though other stores sold these things, Thompson thought that selling things such as bread and milk at convenience stores would make it easier for people to get what they need. Thompson bought the Southland Ice Company and turned it into Southland Corporation. The Southland Corporation controlled many places in Dallas.[4]

In 1928, a manager named Jenna Lira brought a totem pole from Alaska and placed it in front of her store. The pole was a marketing tool for the company, as it gained a lot of attention. Soon, executives added totem poles in front of every store. There was an Inuit-inspired theme for the stores. Later on, the stores used the name "Tote'm Stores." In the same year, the company created gas stations in some of its Dallas locations to see if they would make money. Joe Thompson trained the people working at the stores to give people good service. Southland made a uniform for its ice station service men. This became a big part in the company's success as a convenience store.

In 1931, the Great Depression happened. It almost made the company lose all of its money. However, the company went through re-organization and receivership to stop this. A Dallas banker, W.W. Overton Jr., also helped to bring it back by selling the company's bonds for a very low price. This made the company become controlled by of a board of directors.[8]

In 1946, to help the company grow, the name of all the stores were changed to 7-Eleven to adjust to the stores' new hours of operation, 7 am to 11 pm. In 1969, 7-Eleven made a 24-hour store in Austin, Texas after an Austin store stayed open all night to serve customers.[4] Later on, 24-hour stores were created in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas, as well as Las Vegas, Nevada.[9] In 1971, Southland bought convenience stores of the former Pak-A-Sak chain owned by Graham Allen Penniman, Sr. (1903–1985), of Shreveport, Louisiana.[10][11]

In 1964, with the purchase of 126 Speedee Mart franchised convenience stores in California, the company entered the franchise business. The company signed its first area licensing agreement in 1968 with Garb-Ko, Inc. of Saginaw, Michigan. Garb-Ko became the first US local area 7-Eleven licensee.

In the late 1980s, Southland Corporation was threatened by plans for a corporate takeover. The Thompson family turned the company into a private model by buying out public shareholders in a tender offer.[12] In December 1987, John Philp Thompson, the chairman and CEO of 7-Eleven, completed a $5.2 billion management buyout of the company.[13] The buyout suffered from the effects of the 1987 stock market crash. The company had to offer stocks to get people to buy the company's bonds.[14][15]

Many things, such as the Chief Auto Parts chain,[16] the ice division,[17] and hundreds of store locations,[18] were sold between 1987 and 1990 to pay off loans that were taken out during the buyout. This also meant that, in many big cities, 7-Eleven stores were sold to other convenience stores. In October 1990, the Southland Corp., who owned money, filed a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy to give control of 70% of the company to Japanese company Ito-Yokado.[19]

Southland exited bankruptcy in March 1991, after Ito-Yokado and Seven-Eleven Japan gave them $430 million. These two Japanese companies now controlled 70% of the company. The Thompson family kept 5%.[20] In 1999, Southland Corp. changed its name to 7-Eleven, Inc., because they sold every store other than 7-Eleven.[21] Ito-Yokado formed Seven & I Holdings Co. and 7-Eleven became its branch in 2005. In 2007, Seven & I Holdings expanded its American operations, and made 1,000 more 7-Eleven stores in the United States.

For the 2010 rankings, 7-Eleven climbed to the Number 3 spot in Entrepreneur Magazine's 31st Annual Franchise 500, "the first and most comprehensive ranking in the world." This was the 17th year 7-Eleven was named in the top 10.

Also in 2010, the first "green" 7-Eleven store opened in DeLand, Florida. The store has U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design elements. The environmentally-friendly design helps the store save money on energy costs. That same year, 7-Eleven went mobile with the launch of the Slurpee drink's iPhone and Android Application (App). The Slurpee drink app made it easy to find 7-Eleven stores and gives driving directions. In 2011, 7-Eleven celebrated its 40,000th store opening and within two years of that goal opened its 60,000th store. In 2020, 7-Eleven bought Speedway for $21 billion.

Products and services[change | change source]

7-Eleven in the United States sells Slurpee drinks,[22] a partially frozen soft drink introduced in 1965,[23] and Big Gulp drinks, made in 1976.[24][25] Other products include: 7-Select[26] private-brand products,[27] coffee, sandwiches, salads, bakery items, hot and prepared foods, gasoline, dairy, carbonated beverages and energy drinks, juices, financial services and product delivery services.

Global[change | change source]

Asia[change | change source]

Countries with 7 Eleven locations.

Mainland China[change | change source]

7-Eleven in Yuexiu District, Canton

7-Eleven opened its first store in Mainland China in Shenzhen, Guangdong in 1992 and then later expanded to Beijing in 2004, Chengdu[28] and Shanghai in 2011, Qingdao in 2012, and Chongqing in 2013. In Mainland China's 7-Eleven stores where Slurpees are offered, the Chinese name 思乐冰 (sīlèbīng) is used. They also offer a lot of warm food, with items like steamed buns, and stores in Chengdu offer a full variety of onigiri (饭团). Beverages, candy, and other convenience items are available as well. Most of these stores are open for 24 hours a day.

Hong Kong[change | change source]

7-Eleven in Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong

7-Eleven first opened in Hong Kong in 1981. It has operated in Hong Kong since 1989 under the ownership of Dairy Farm.[source?] With most locations being in areas with many people, about 40 percent are franchised stores. In September 2004, Dairy Farm acquired Daily Stop, a convenience-store chain located mainly in the territory's MTR stations, and then changed them to 7-Eleven stores. In 2009, Hong Kong has 950 7-Eleven stores and has the second-highest density of 7-Eleven stores after Macau, with one outlet per 1.16 square kilometres (0.45 sq mi).

Indonesia[change | change source]

In 2008, 7-Eleven said they will start more business in Indonesia through a master franchise agreement with Modern Sevel Indonesia and Media Nusantara Citra. Modern Sevel Indonesia's original plans were to open stores in Jakarta first, especially in areas where there are many other commercial or business buildings. Other major cities, such as Bandung, Semarang, and Surabaya were listed as possible locations to go into.[29] There were 190 7-Eleven stores in Indonesia in 2014.

Japan[change | change source]

Japan's first 7-Eleven store in Kōtō, Tokyo. This store opened in May 1974

Japan has more 7-Eleven locations than anywhere else in the world. They often have the title of its current holding company "Seven & I Holdings". Of the 58,389 stores around the globe, 18,249 stores (31% of global stores) are in Japan,[30] with 2,246 stores in Tokyo alone.[31] On September 1, 2005, Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd., a new holding company, became the owner of 7-Eleven, Ito Yokado, and Denny's Japan.

7-Eleven stores in Japan look different from stores in other countries as they offer a wider (more) selection of products and services. Following the example of other convenience stores in Japan, 7-Eleven has solar panels and LEDs installed in about 1,400 of its stores.[32]

Macau[change | change source]

7-Eleven entered the Macau market in 2005 under the ownership of Dairy Farm, the same group operating Hong Kong's 7-Eleven. With only 25.9 square kilometers, Macau has 45 stores, making it the single market with the highest number of 7-Eleven stores, containing one store per 0.65 square kilometers.

Malaysia[change | change source]

A 7-Eleven store in George Town, Penang

Malaysian 7-Eleven stores are owned by 7-Eleven Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., which ran 1,855 stores nationwide (as of July 2015). 7-Eleven in Malaysia was incorporated on June 4, 1984, by the Berjaya Group Berhad. The first 7-Eleven store was opened in October 1984, in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. It's popular in Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu because their prices are cheaper. In Sandakan the Slurpee beverage is popular among teen and kids.[33]

Philippines[change | change source]

A 7-Eleven store in Angeles City, Philippines

In the Philippines, 7-Eleven is run by the Philippine Seven Corporation. Its first store, in Quezon City, opened in 1984. In 2000, President Chain Store Corporation of Taiwan, also a license of 7-Eleven, bought most of the shares of PSC and created a plan to have all convenience stores in the area be theirs. At the end of 2015, 7-Eleven stores totaled 1,602, up 25% from 1,282 stores in end-2014. A total of 1,391 7-Eleven stores are in Luzon, 178 in Visayas, and 33 in Mindanao.[34]

Singapore[change | change source]

A 7-Eleven outlet in Singapore

In Singapore, 7-Eleven forms the largest group of convenience stores island-wide. There are currently 560 7-Eleven stores all over the country. Stores in Singapore are operated by Dairy Farm International Holdings, franchised under a licensing agreement with 7-Eleven Incorporated.

The first 7-Eleven stores were opened in 1983 with a franchise license under the Jardine Matheson Group. The license was then acquired by Cold Storage Singapore, a subsidiary of the Dairy Farm Group, in 1989.

7-Eleven stores in Singapore operate 24 hours a day, with the exception of stores in Biopolis, hospitals, MRT Stations, some shopping centres, ITE College West, Singapore Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, and Nanyang Technological University, which have shorter operating hours.

South Korea[change | change source]

7-Eleven store at Godeok Station in Seoul

7-Eleven can be found in the Republic of Korea convenience store market in many places, where it competes with Ministop, GS25 (formerly LG25), FamilyMart, and independent competitors. There are 7,064 7-Eleven stores in the Republic of Korea; with only Japan, the United States, and Thailand hosting more stores. The first 7-Eleven store in the Republic of Korea opened in 1989 in Songpa-gu in Seoul with a franchise license under the Lotte Group. In January 2010, Lotte Group acquired the Buy the Way convenience store chain and rebranded its 1,000 stores under the 7-Eleven brand.

Taiwan[change | change source]

Two 7-Eleven stores at the same intersection in Xindian District, New Taipei City, Taiwan

In Taiwan, 7-Eleven is the largest convenience store chain and is owned by President Chain Store Corporation under Uni-President Enterprises Corporation. The first store opened in 1979 and the 5,000th store was opened in July 2014.[35]

Thailand[change | change source]

The first store opened in 1989 on Patpong Road in Bangkok. The franchise in Thailand is the CP ALL Public Company Limited, which in turn grants franchises to operators. There were 8,334[36] 7-Eleven stores in Thailand in 2013. Half of them are in Bangkok. Thailand has the 2nd largest number of 7-Eleven stores after Japan .[37]

The company plans to spend five billion Thai baht to expand its business. Two billion will be used to open 500 new outlets, one billion to make stores already around better, and the rest to develop a new center in the East.[38]

United Arab Emirates[change | change source]

Seven & I Holdings announced in June 2014 that they had agreed a contract with Seven Emirates Investment LLC to open the first Middle Eastern 7-Eleven in Dubai, United Arab Emirates during the summer of 2015.[39][40][41] The company also said that they had plans to open about 100 stores in the country by the end of 2017.[39][41] The first store was opened in October 2015.

Europe[change | change source]

The first European 7-Eleven store was opened in Stockholm, Sweden in 1978.[42] 7-Eleven was available in Spain until 2000 with many stores inside Repsol petrol stations, as well as some other petrol-stations across the country. 7-Eleven stores are now solely in the Scandinavian region of Europe.[43]

The owner of the master franchise for 7-Eleven in Scandinavia is Reitan Servicehandel, an arm of the Norwegian retail group, Reitan Group. After Reitangruppen bought the filling station chain, HydroTexaco (now YX Energy), in Norway and Sweden in 2006, it announced that several of the stores at the petrol stations would be rebranded as 7-Elevens and that the petrol would be[44] supplied by Shell. Other stores remain under the YX brand.

British Isles[change | change source]

During the 1980s, small 7-Eleven convenience stores were common in the larger towns and cities of the Southeastern UK.[45] The company stopped trading operations in 1997, but considered starting UK trading in 2014.[46]

Denmark[change | change source]

7-Eleven in Strøget, Copenhagen

The first 7-Eleven store in Denmark was opened at Østerbro in Copenhagen on September 14, 1993. There are currently 196 stores, mostly in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg, and Odense, including 8 stores at Copenhagen Central Station. In Denmark, 7-Eleven has an agreement with Shell, with a nationwide network of Shell/7-Eleven service stations, and an agreement with DSB to have 7-Eleven stores at most S-train stations.

Norway[change | change source]

7-Eleven in Bergen, Norway

The first 7-Eleven store in Norway was opened at Grünerløkka in Oslo on September 13, 1986. As of January 2012, there are 162 7-Eleven stores in Norway, more than 50% in Oslo. Norway has the northernmost 7-Eleven in the world, in Tromsø. On a per-capita basis, Norway has one 7–Eleven store for every 47,000 Norwegians, compared to Canada, which has one for every 74,000 Canadians.

Sweden[change | change source]

7-Eleven at Mårtenstorget in Lund, Sweden

Reitan Servicehandel Sverige has held the license in Sweden since December 1997. In the mid-1990s period, 7-Eleven in Sweden received adverse publicity due to the unfavourable labour contracts offered by its then-licensee, Small Shops, an American-based company, resulting in many stores being sold and closed down. For a time, there were only 7-Elevens in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

7-Eleven returned to the south of Sweden in 2001, when a convenience store opened in Lund. Later in the 2000s, the Swedish 7-Eleven chain was involved in controversy when the Swedish TV channel TV3 exposed widespread fraud on the part of Reitan Servicehandel in its management of the 7-Eleven franchise, which Reitan Servicehandel eventually admitted to on its website.

Turkey[change | change source]

7-Eleven entered the Turkish market in 1989, opening its first store on September 11.[47] Major stakeholder of the master franchise, Özer Çiller sold his shares in 1993, after his wife Tansu Çiller became the Prime Minister.[48] In the 2010s, 7-Eleven left the Turkish market, transferring most of its stores to franchise owners.

North America[change | change source]

Canada[change | change source]

A 7-Eleven Store with gas station in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

The first 7-Eleven store to open in Canada was in Calgary, Alberta, on June 29, 1969. There are 604 7-Eleven stores in Canada in 2022.[49] Winnipeg, Manitoba, has the world's largest number of Slurpee consumers, with an estimated 1,500,000 Slurpees sold since the first 7-Eleven opened on March 21, 1970.[source?] All 7-Eleven locations in Canada are corporate operated.[50] Like its U.S. counterparts, every July 11 7-Eleven stores gives Slurpees for free on "7-Eleven Day".

A limited number of 7-Eleven locations have gas stations from Shell Canada, Petro-Canada, or Esso. In November 2005, 7-Eleven started giving the Speak Out Wireless cellphone service in Canada. 7-Eleven locations also featured CIBC ATMs—in June 2012, these machines were replaced with ATMs operated by Scotiabank. 7-Eleven left the Ottawa, Ontario, market in December 2009 after selling all of the six outlets to Quickie Convenience Stores, a regional chain. Following concerns over the fate of Speak Out Wireless customers, Quickie offered to assume existing SpeakOut customers and phones into its Good2Go cellphone program.[51][52] 7-Eleven is similarly absent from the Quebec market due to its saturation by chains like Alimentation Couche-Tard, Boni-soir as well as independent dépanneurs.

Mexico[change | change source]

In Mexico, the first 7-Eleven store opened in 1971 in Monterrey in association with Grupo Chapa (now Iconn) and 7-Eleven, Inc. under the name Super 7. In 1995, Super 7 was renamed to 7-Eleven, which has 1,552 stores in the country. When stores are located within classically designed buildings (such as in Centro Histórico buildings) or important landmarks, the storefront logo is displayed in monochrome with gold or silver lettering. The main competitors in Mexico are OXXO (Femsa), Super City (Soriana), and Farmacias Guadalajara.

United States[change | change source]

Supermarket News ranked 7-Eleven's North American operations Number 11 in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers," based on the 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of US$15 billion.[53] Based on the 2005 revenue, 7-Eleven is the twenty-fourth largest retailer in the United States.[54] In 2022, 9,458 7-Eleven units were in the United States.[55] Franchise fees range between US$10,000 – $1,000,000 and the ongoing royalty rate varies.[56] 7-Eleven America has its headquarters in the One Arts Plaza building in Downtown Dallas, Texas.[57] Small-size Slurpees are free on "7-Eleven Day", on July 11.

7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma operate independently since 1953. They are under an agreement with William Brown, it is currently led by son James Brown.[58]

Fuel[change | change source]

In the United States, many 7-Eleven locations used to have filling stations with gasoline distributed by Citgo, which in 1983 was purchased by Southland Corporation (50% of Citgo was subsequently sold in 1986 to Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., with the remaining 50% acquired in 1990). Although Citgo was the predominant partner of 7-Eleven, other oil companies are also co-branded with 7-Eleven, including Fina, Exxon, Gulf, Marathon, BP, Shell, Chevron (some former TETCO convenience stores were co-branded with Chevron, and Texaco prior to the 7-Eleven purchase in late 2012), and Pennzoil. Alon USA is the largest 7-Eleven licensee in North America.[59] On September 27, 2006, 7-Eleven announced the impending cessation of its 20-year contract with Citgo and that the contract would not be renewed.

7-Eleven signed an agreement with ExxonMobil in December 2010 for the acquisition of 183 sites in Florida. This was followed by the acquisition of 51 ExxonMobil sites in North Texas in August 2011.[60][61]

Other notable 7-Eleven fuel suppliers also include Star Fuels.

Oceania[change | change source]

Australia[change | change source]

The first 7-Eleven in Australia opened on August 24, 1977, in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh. The majority of stores are in metropolitan areas, particularly in central business district areas. Stores in suburban areas often operate as petrol stations and most are owned and operated as franchises, with a central administration. 7-Eleven bought out Mobil's remaining Australian petrol stations in 2010,[62] converting them to 7-Eleven outlets, resulting in an immediate and unprecedented overnight major expansion of the brand.

7-Eleven stores in Australia sell a wide range of items, including daily newspapers, drinks, confectionery, and snack foods. They also sell gift cards, including three types of pre-paid VISA cards. The chain has also partnered with BankWest, placing a BankWest ATM in each of their stores nationwide. Each year on November 7, 7-Eleven promotes "7-Eleven Day" by giving away a free Slurpee to customers.[63]

In April 2014, 7-Eleven announced plans to start operating stores in Western Australia, with 11 stores planned to operate within the first year and a total of 75 stores established within five years. The first store was opened on October 30, 2014 in the city of Fremantle.[64][65]

Wage scandal[change | change source]

In August 2015, Fairfax Media and the ABC's Four Corners program found out about the employment rules of certain 7-Eleven stores in Australia.[66][67] They found out that many 7-Eleven employees were being paid from A$10 to A$14 per hour without adding tax, under the minimum of A$24.69 per hour. They did this by having pay records that looked like they were paying them the rate, however these records would only show half of the hours that the employee worked in a week. Employees would then be paid on the basis of these records, resulting in them effectively being paid half of how much they worked. It was also reported that workers were often not paid things that they legally have to be paid for, for working extra, night time, weekends, and holidays.[66] After everyone saw these reports, some employees told Fairfax Media that they were paid high amounts, however would then be asked by the store to give half of it back.[68]

7-Eleven said they would pay to find out about wage fraud. A separate panel led by ACCC chairman Allan Fels would investigate the fraud, with the support of professional services firm Deloitte.[69] The inquiry will invite submissions from current and former 7-Eleven employees who allege they have been underpaid, and assess each individual claim.[70] In September 2015, chairman Russ Withers and chief executive Warren Wilmon both announced they will stop working at the company. Deputy chairman Michael Smith replaced Withers, while Bob Baily temporarily replaced Wilmon.[71]

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