UNIVERSAL CITY, Texas — The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) repeated its call Jan. 24 for an overhaul of the 7-Eleven Inc. corporate team.
Universal City, Texas-based NCASEF, an elected, independent body representing the interests of more than 7,200 7-Eleven franchised U.S. locations, said it is concerned that Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven’s corporate profit and success are coming at the expense of store operators.
The call comes just ahead of 7-Eleven Inc.’s annual 7-Eleven Experience conference Feb. 5 in Las Vegas and NCASEF representatives gathering in Dallas on Feb. 11 for the group’s annual First Affiliate meeting.
- 7-Eleven Inc. is No. 1 in CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by number of retail locations. It operates, franchises or licenses 70,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.
In 2018, the NCASEF board of directors voted “no confidence” in 7-Eleven’s executive leadership. It repeated those concerns again this week.
“With each passing day, it becomes increasingly clear that this team is not putting franchisee interests first, as they claim to,” said Jay Singh, NCASEF chairman. “They have shut the national coalition out because some of our members have been critical of their practices. We believe 7-Eleven’s corporate leadership is a liability to the brand we love.”
NCASEF said that under the current corporate leadership, 7-Eleven Inc. exercises “pervasive” control over many aspects of store operations, include limiting franchisees’ ability to control pricing.
“Our contract grants franchisees control over in-store pricing, but mobile technology has different rules, and promotions like $1 coffee benefit 7-Eleven’s gross sales and app adoption while franchisees’ expenses are growing faster than profits,” said NCASEF Executive Vice Chairman Michael Jorgensen.
“7-Eleven is proud of its comprehensive, ongoing two-way communication with franchisees," 7-Eleven Inc. said in a statement provided to CSP Daily News in response to NCASEF's position. “We have always been a franchise-centric business and have been recognized as a leader in the retail space and among franchisors. This is because of our belief that collaboratively working with our franchisees always leads to improved performance. To that end, 7-Eleven meets three times a year with the National Business Leadership Coalition (NBLC), made up of 80 franchisees from across the country, and our CEO holds CEO roundtable meetings with franchisees three times a year. These formal meetings with franchisees highlight both opportunities and issues for all of Brand 7-Eleven. To take advantage of the opportunities and solve the issues, we hold biweekly calls with the NBLC. This process works extremely well."
The company also said that "working together with franchisees, 7-Eleven has generated over $21 billion in gross income for franchise business owners over the past 10 years. In 2019, average franchise gross income grew 2.6% and remains at an all-time high.”
Singh said, however, that “conditions for franchisees are worsening, and the national coalition’s requests for open dialogue and collaboration with the company continue to fall on deaf ears. Only a small, handpicked group of franchise owners are able to provide input for critical decisions that affect our business. One has to ask why 7-Eleven continually ignores and excludes the only elected representative body of its franchisees.”