7-Eleven to Return to Manhattan

Opening smaller, walkup units

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. has returned to Manhattan after a long absence with a smaller, walkup convenience store that the chain pioneered in other big cities, said the Associated Press.

The store in the Flatiron district on East 23rd Street opened last week, although an event attended by company officials is scheduled for Monday. A second Manhattan store, at 82nd Street at Third Avenue, is expected to open in early fall, with others to follow.

7-Eleven said the 1,500-sq.-ft. layout for the Flatiron district store uses ideas from [image-nocss] downtown stores in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.

Bob Cozens, the chain's regional vice president, said the assortment would be tailored to local tastes, including grilled chicken Caesar wraps, sushi and single-serve bundt and crumb cakes. Standard fare, including hot dogs, taquitos and Slurpees, will also be sold.

There is no parking nor gasoline pumps.

The store will be run by a franchisee who immigrated to the United States from India in 1981.

Spokesperson Margaret Chabris told AP that 7-Eleven closed its last Manhattan store in 1982, although a couple stores operated briefly under a special licensing arrangement about 1990. She said the company was successfully adding stores in the suburbs, but now believes it has technology to better forecast demand for items that local shoppers want. She added that "Manhattan's economy and reduction in crime have made it a great place to do business."

Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates or franchises 40 stores in the other four boroughs of New York, 181 stores on Long Island, and 217 in New Jersey. It operates or franchises about 5,800 stores in the United States and Canada and licenses more than 22,000 stores around the world.