US convenience retailer Seven-Eleven said it is continuing its "aggressive" plan to convert the majority of its company-operated stores into franchised operations in the US by 2012.

The conversion of the stores began in 2006. Around 4,100, or 75%, of the company's 5,600 US stores are now franchised.

Existing 7-Eleven store managers were the first invited to apply for a 7-Eleven franchise, with the offer now available to the public.

"Seven-Eleven's movement to convert its company-operated stores offers an opportunity for people in the community to franchise their own business using an established, successful system supported by a world-class retailer," said Desi Desormeaux, 7-Eleven franchise sales manager for Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland and North Carolina.

The company is also expanding through its Business Conversion Program (BCP), for independent business owners interested in converting their retail operation to a 7-Eleven store.

Seven-Eleven, which became an indirect subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings in 2005, operates globally in a number of countries including Japan, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore and Canada.