How 7-Eleven Plans to Meet 2012 Store Count Goal

Strategy includes greater market presence in metro areas where company already has stores

DALLAS -- After breaking both its international and domestic store growth records last year, 7-Eleven Inc. is in line to have an even bigger year in 2012. The world's largest retailer by units added more than 4,600 stores worldwide in 2011 and plans to continue the company's accelerated growth.

As reported yesterday in a Raymond James/CSP Daily News Flash, in the United States and Canada, 7-Eleven built, acquired or transitioned from another business to the 7-Eleven brand 600 additional stores during 2011. This year, 7-Eleven's goal is to exceed that number by adding at least 630 new stores to its U.S. and Canada roster by yearend.

Since 2003, 7-Eleven has almost doubled its global store count, from 25,000 to more than 46,000. Today, a new 7-Eleven store opens somewhere in the world approximately every two hours, the company said.

7-Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto said, "7-Eleven's U.S. growth strategy includes building greater market presence and adding quality locations in metropolitan areas where the company already has stores as a means to increase efficiencies and leverage the company's scale and daily-delivery infrastructure. The financial strength of 7-Eleven has enabled us to grow aggressively, even in what has been a challenging economic environment for many companies in the past four years."

Dan Porter, 7-Eleven's  real estate vice president, said, "In the world of real estate and development, it has been a buyer's market, and we have been in the enviable position to capitalize on property and space availability plus 7-Eleven's strong credit rating."

Approximately 56% of 7-Eleven's U.S. growth last year was the result of several acquisitions that increased store density in New York, Florida, Illinois, Colorado and the Northwest. The most significant 2011 purchase was Wilson Farms Inc., a Buffalo, N.Y.-based convenience store chain with 188 outlets in New York state. The strategic move reinvigorates the company's presence in western New York.

7-Eleven is re-entering two markets--Jacksonville, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.--where it previously had operated stores until the 1980s. The company also has announced plans to double its 20-store presence in Manhattan in the next year and grow to about 135 units by 2017.

The purchasing pace shows no signs of slowing in 2012, said the company. Already this year, 7-Eleven has acquired 55 locations from Sam's Mart in the Carolinas and 51 from ExxonMobil in North Texas. More acquisitions are expected to be announced in the coming months.

"We have successfully increased 7-Eleven's store footprint in several of our most dynamic markets," Porter said. "Year to date, 7-Eleven already has added more than 200 new locations, in North America. We believe we are adding more new locations this year around the world than any other company and are the second fastest-growing food retailer in the U.S., based on new store openings"

Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 9,200 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, there are approximately 46,400 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2011, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of approximately $76.6 billion.