Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc., which began life as an icehouse in 1927, has evolved into the world's largest and most recognizable convenience retailer. The chain, with its iconic Slurpee and Big Gulp dispensed beverages, operates, franchises or licenses more than 8,000 stores in the United States and Canada. It added to its store count with the acquisition of the 182 Tedeschi Food Shops in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 2015. It also acquired about 100 gasoline retail sites in Florida in November 2015 from Biscayne Petroleum LLC and Everglades Petroleum LLC.

Key U.S. growth markets for 7-Eleven include Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington/Baltimore, Seattle, the Tidewater region of Virginia, Dallas-Fort Worth and the Florida markets of Orlando and Tampa.

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.

7-Eleven distinguishes itself from the competition with its many proprietary and private-label items. The company has assembled a "restaurant-quality" team that is introducing more fresh foods to the chain. In October 2014, it introduced a line of juices, salads and wraps developed by fitness guru Tony Horton to 104 stores in the Los Angeles area.

No. of Stores:8273
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