UNIVERSAL CITY, Texas, and IRVING, Texas — Following a request in early May, the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) again asked 7-Eleven Inc. to reconsider a mandate that all stores return to 24-hour operations on May 24 following a shortening of hours due to the pandemic.
The coalition also cited the current pandemic-related labor shortage industrywide and throughout the retail and service industries.
NCASEF—the advocacy group for 7-Eleven franchisees comprised of 41 independent franchise owner associations collectively with more than 4,400 members—has cited “a crippling labor shortage, higher operating costs, lower gross margin and lower net profit” as reasons why franchisees should be granted a waiver from returning to overnight operations.
The coalition said thousands of franchise owners are facing an “extremely challenging situation. Many are unable to fill open shifts, forcing them to man the register overnight after managing the business during the day.”
“The situation is not only unsafe, but also unsustainable,” said NCASEF Executive Vice Chairman Michael Jorgensen.
According to NCASEF General Counsel Eric Karp, “In exchange for permission to close overnight, the company is requiring franchisees hand over a greater portion of their gross profits. What 7-Eleven refers to as an ‘appropriate adjustment’ to the gross profit split amounts to an improper penalty imposed on franchisees based on circumstances well beyond their control.”
With the arrival of summer and fewer coronavirus mandates, more customers will be coming into 7-Eleven stores and other retailers, said NCASEF.
7-Eleven Inc. has not responded to the NCASEF’s requests. The company did not respond to a CSP Daily News request for comment by posting time. But regarding the labor shortage, on May 25, 7-Eleven Inc. and participating independent franchise owners announced that together they intend to hire as many as 40,000 new employees to fill positions at more than 13,000 U.S. stores, including the more than 3,800 Speedway stores that 7-Eleven recently acquired from Marathon Petroleum Corp.
Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 77,000 stores in 16 countries and regions, including more than 9,500 in the United States. 7-Eleven is No. 1 on CSP’s 2021 Top 40 update of the 2020 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. Speedway is No. 3.