7-Eleven Inc., which began life as an icehouse in 1927, has evolved into the world's largest and most recognizable convenience-store retailer.

The chain, with its iconic Slurpee and Big Gulp dispensed beverages, operates, franchises or licenses more than 10,000 stores in the United States and Canada. Of the more than 7,800 stores the company operates and franchises in the United States, approximately 6,100 are franchised and 1,700 are corporate-operated. Globally, as of late 2013, there are 52,500 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries.

7-Eleven's store count consists primarily of franchisees, and the company has made it a goal to become a virtually 100% franchise-run chain. 7-Eleven defines its competitive advantage as "Retailer Initiative." The initiative allows a store operator to align his or her product assortment with the store's customer preferences. A proprietary Retail Information System, which was created to simplify inventory management for store operators, and an advanced distribution system ensure the freshest possible product assortment in 7-Eleven stores.

Q2 2015 Update

In May, 7-Eleven Inc. entered into an agreement to acquireTedeschi Food Shops, a 92-year-old, family-run, traditional convenience-store chain. Tedeschi only sold fuel at 15 of its 182 locations, which are all located in the Northeast. The deal will more than double 7-Eleven’s footprint in greater Boston and New Hampshire, where it currently operates and franchises 164 convenience stores.

No. of Stores:8278
Average Store Size:2,500-4,000 sq. ft.
Rank Last Year:1
States of Operation: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District Of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan