Case Study – ‘7-Eleven: A Way of Life’

7-Eleven outlets by night

7-ELEVEN Inc. of Dallas, Texas, operates the 7-ELEVEN convenience -store chain in twenty-six states, the District of Columbia, and five provinces of Canada. 7-ELEVEN Inc. is the largest operator and franchiser of convenience stores in the world. There are over 7,200 7-ELEVE stores in operation throughout the United States, serving over 8 million customers every day. A typical 7-ELEVEN store carries over 3,000 items, including soft drinks, groceries, beer, tobacco, magazines, housewares, and health and beauty aids. Other items, particularly fast foods, are regularly being added to the product offerings.

7-ELEVEN Inc., then known as Southland pioneered the convenience store concept in 1927, when it opened as an ice company that also sold milk, bread, and eggs as a convenience to its customers. The name “7-ELEvEN” originated in 1946, when the stores operated between the hours of 7 A.M. and 11 P.M. Today the vast majority of 7-ELEVEN stores are open twenty-four hours.

There are basically two operational types of 7-ELEVEN stores. The neighborhood type is operated as an updated version of the mom-and-pop store. Forty percent of the stores are operated by franchisees, with the remainder being managed by the corporation. Of the franchised locations, many are owned and operated by couples whose families also work in the store. The typical 7-ELEVEN store is in a suburban location with easy access. However, 7-ELEVEN also operates “city stores” in some densely populated urban areas. The store’s competition is broad-based, including fast-food restaurants, other convenience stores, supermarkets, and “g-stores” (gasoline stations with a small convenience store on the premises).