January 07, 2010 // Franchising.com // DALLAS – 7-Eleven, Inc. has earned the No. 3 spot on Entrepreneur magazine annual Franchise 500®, which ranks top franchise opportunities in the U.S. This is the convenience retailer's 17th year to break into the top 10. Billed as the "first, best and most comprehensive ranking in the world," the Franchise 500 cites "generous in-house financing" of a franchisee's inventory and "the company's revolving credit line for inventory, setup costs and expansion" as key to 7-Eleven's phenomenal growth in 2009.
7-Eleven opened more than 1,800 stores around the world last year, or roughly one every five hours – not bad in a slowed global economy that has directly impacted real estate sales, development and financing. Of those 1,800 stores, more than 250 were in the U.S. The company plans continued growth and has projected opening more than 1,000 stores in U.S. and Canada in the next three years.
"We are honored to once again receive this prestigious recognition from Entrepreneur magazine," said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. "We have a winning franchise system, and this is well deserved recognition for our outstanding Franchise owners and 7-Eleven associates."
7-Eleven is currently franchising its remaining 1,000 company-operated stores in the U.S., mostly in Virginia, Florida and Texas.
Another major factor in the retailer's expansion is its Business Conversion Program (BCP) and a discounted franchise fee program for former military.
For its BCP opportunity, 7-Eleven seeks qualified, independent operators who feel the recession's squeeze or have the desire to grow their business backed by a successful franchise system. The company offers its proven business model, popular products and generous field and marketing support, and spends as much as $250,000 on average to assist in converting locations to the 7-Eleven brand. Since first offering its BCP in 2005, 7-Eleven has added more than 170 stores through the program.
Likewise, U.S. Armed Forces veterans are reporting for duty to take advantage of a 15-percent franchisee fee discount, initiated by 7-Eleven last year. The discount can mean savings of between $7,500 and more than $50,000. A number of honorably discharged veterans already have been qualified to participate in the program.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, the top companies made the Franchise 500 ranking based on financial and statistical data from July 2008 through July 2009. All companies, regardless of size, are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system.
Other considerations include the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it's been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations, and whether the company provides financing. The objective factors are plugged into Entrepreneur's exclusive Franchise 500 formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score. The 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500.
7-Eleven has received numerous accolades for its attractive franchise opportunities from business and trade publications including No. 3 in Forbes magazine's Top 20 Franchises To Start, No. 3 among Top 100 Global Franchises by Franchise Direct, No. 3 in Store Growth by Convenience Store News, No. 2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies and #29 among Top 100 Chains in Food Service. In addition, Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven in its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics.
7-Eleven recently was selected by three diversity publications – Professional Woman's Magazine, Hispanic Network Magazine and Black EOE Journal – as a company offering the best career and franchisee opportunities.
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 some 8,000 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 37,100 stores in 16 countries. During 2008, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $53.7 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #3 in Forbes magazine's Top 20 Franchises to Start, #3 among Top 100 Global Franchises by Franchise Direct, #3 in Store Growth by Convenience Store News, #2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies and #29 among Top 100 Chains in Food Service. In addition, Hispanic Magazine's named 7-Eleven in its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven recently was selected by three diversity publications as a company offering the best career and franchisee opportunities. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S., and is expanding through organic growth, acquisitions, and its Business Conversion Program.