CHICAGO -- Sometimes bigger doesn’t mean better. It can put a spotlight on the brand when the government comes calling.
That scrutiny befell 7-Eleven, among other convenience-store chains, as well as drugstore Walgreens, both of which received the most number of warning letters among retailers named in a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) crackdown on alleged sales of e-cigarettes to minors.
Eighty-one 7-Eleven stores and 73 Walgreens locations across the country appeared on the FDA’s list of stores receiving 1,300 warning letters and fines as a result of a summerlong undercover operation at the store level, the agency announced on Sept. 12.
In response to the number of warning letters, 7-Eleven issued a statement to CSP Daily News: “7-Eleven franchisees are independent business owners and are solely responsible for verifying customers’ ages prior to selling age-restricted items. As part of the 7-Eleven franchise agreement, 7-Eleven requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state and local laws related to selling age-restricted products. 7-Eleven takes compliance with laws seriously, and a franchisee’s violation of the law is a breach of the 7-Eleven franchise agreement that can lead to termination of the franchise relationship. 7-Eleven is fully cooperating with law enforcement.”
Regarding the FDA, other retailer and manufacturers’ responses ranged from agreements to work with the FDA to accusations of the agency appearing “disingenuous.”
Here’s how the FDA’s list broke down. ...