TOKYO -- 7-Eleven Inc. parent Seven & i Holdings is breaking out its U.S. and overseas operations into a separate operating segment as it rests its medium-term growth strategy largely on its convenience-store business.
The company will change from its previous seven segments—convenience-store operations; superstore operations; department store operations; food services; financial services; mail order services; and others—to seven new segments: domestic convenience-store operations; overseas convenience-store operations; superstore operations; department store operations; financial services; specialty-store operations; and others.
Under the new business segment scheme, the company is positioning c-store operations as a growth pillar, with domestic and overseas operations managed separately to reflect their different market attributes.
As part of the restructuring plan, the Tokyo-based company will split its current global c-store segment into a domestic division and an international segment. The domestic unit will control c-store interests in Japan as well as in China and Hawaii, while the overseas unit will control Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. and its c-store interests in other countries.
When the restructure is complete in early 2018, 7-Eleven Inc. will focus on a growth strategy that includes acquisitions, such as its just-announced deal to acquire about 1,110 c-stores from Sunoco LP, as well as continued organic store growth. At the same time, the company plans to bolster its prepared foods offering by making quality and service improvements.
Other changes to Seven & i’s structure would largely affect specialty business units within the company’s Japan-based operations. Joining 7-Eleven Inc. in the new international unit will be SEJ Asset Management & Investment Co., which Seven & i established in 2012 to support the business expansion initiatives of 7-Eleven in the United States.
7-Eleven ended its fiscal 2017 with 8,256 stores in the United States, 63 of which operated as part of the Hawaii division.
Seven & i recently went through a management power struggle resulting in the resignation in April 2016 of the company’s CEO, Toshifumi Suzuki. The 83-year-old Suzuki failed to win board support in his bid to oust 58-year-old Ryuichi Isaka, head of its convenience-store chain subsidiary Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Days later, Seven & i promoted Isaka to the position of president.
In May 2016, Isaka said he plans to increase the number of 7-Eleven c-stores in the United States to boost overall market share amid slowing demand in Japan and as the chain contends with intensified competition.
7-Eleven is striving to reach 10,000 c-stores in North America, Isaka said. “We will speed up expansion in North America by accelerating acquisitions.”
A previously announced plan for long-term domestic expansion had called for up to as many as 20,000 stores within several years.