SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF), which represents the owners of nearly 7,000 franchised convenience stores in the United States, has filed a lawsuit against 7-Eleven Inc. claiming that the franchisor has not fulfilled its promise of treating franchisees as independent contractors and business owners.
Members cite increasing management control by 7-Eleven Inc., including:
- Taking away the opportunity of franchisees to possess or control monies generated from franchised stores.
- Directing franchisees to sell any good or service for less than the cost of acquiring and selling it.
- Requiring franchisees to use equipment 7-Eleven specifies to operate franchise stores.
- Imposing a regressive royalty structure that penalizes franchisees for increasing sales.
- Transferring responsibility for paying credit-card processing fees directly to franchisees.
The lawsuit, filed Oct. 12 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, challenges certain provisions of the 7-Eleven franchise agreement and seeks monetary damages, attorney’s fees and costs and other relief for claims relating to unpaid overtime wages and unreimbursed expenses.
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses 10,900 c-stores in North America, including nearly 9,000 in the United States.
NCASEF is the national trade association for 7-Eleven franchisees. Founded in 1973, it includes 46 franchise association members that represent more than 4,700 7-Eleven owners in 33 states. Its national office is in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Watch for more details in CSP Daily News.