7-Eleven Takes Top Spot in Annual 'Franchise 500' Rankings

7-Eleven Takes Top Spot in Annual 'Franchise 500' Rankings

'Entrepreneur' Magazine Selects Convenience Retailer For Its Growth and Potential

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--7-Eleven, Inc. has been recognized as the number-one franchise opportunity in Entrepreneur magazine's "Annual Franchise 500" rankings for 2008. This marks the first time the convenience retailer has captured the top spot and recognizes 7-Eleven for its accelerated franchising activity, expansion and solid business system.

Entrepreneur's "Franchise 500" is the most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world. Factors considered for the honor include financial strength and stability, growth rate, size of the system, and initial investment.

"After researching hundreds of opportunities, 7-Eleven rose to the top based on their strong growth, financial stability and long-term commitment to franchising. Their ranking is particularly significant since they're a new No. 1 title holder in the Franchise 500® for the first time in seven years," says Rieva Lesonsky, editorial director/senior vice president of Entrepreneur.

"7-Eleven is committed to supporting entrepreneurs who wish to run their own retail outlets with an industry-leading brand, strong infrastructure, cutting-edge technology and a passion for innovation," said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. "We are very proud and appreciative of this recognition, and it is shared by our franchisees across the country, who are contributing to our joint success and profits."

7-Eleven® stores began 80 years ago when a Dallas ice dock operator decided to add milk, eggs and bread in response to his customers' needs. The company's first expansion outside Texas was into Florida. The retailer entered the franchising arena in 1964 with the acquisition of Speedee Mart, a chain of franchised convenience stores in California.

Since then, the company's well-known brand and convenience retail model has spread around the world with some 33,300 stores in 17 countries and one U.S. territory. Total revenue for 7-Eleven stores worldwide was $44 billion in 2006.

International Franchise Association President Matthew Shay said, "7-Eleven's vision to help entrepreneurs realize their dream of small-business ownership is strong evidence of the company's long-standing commitment to the future of the franchising industry."

7-Eleven recently announced that it was becoming a fully franchised organization and is actively converting historically company-operated stores in Virginia, Texas, Colorado, Utah and Florida to its franchise model. The company also has embarked on its Business Conversion Program offering existing convenience and other retail operators the opportunity to re-brand their stores as 7-Eleven outlets under this new franchise program.

"Our company is grateful for the public acknowledgment of our franchise system's success by Entrepreneur magazine, one of the top publications for independent business owners," said Jeff Schenck, 7-Eleven senior vice president for franchising and store development. "We see tremendous potential for expanding the 7-Eleven brand."

He added, "Our reasonable cost of entry plus operational, merchandising and IT support make 7-Eleven a very attractive franchise business. Convenience is a highly valued commodity among time-pressed consumers in the U.S. and around the world. We make it possible for hard-working business people to capitalize on this."

Other honors 7-Eleven holds include a No.-2 ranking among top franchises by Franchise Times Magazine for 2007, 14 years on Hispanic Magazine's "Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies" list, inclusion on the "Top 25 Franchises for Hispanics" in 2005 by Hispanic Trends Magazine and numerous convenience industry awards.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 7,300 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses some 33,300 stores in 17 countries and one U.S. territory. During 2006, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $44 billion. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com.

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