7-Eleven eyes accelerated growth

7-Eleven eyes accelerated growth

US convenience store operator 7-Eleven has indicated that it plans to accelerate its rate of expansion in the coming years, through both new store openings and acquisitions. 

During 2011, the privately-held retailer opened in excess of 600 new locations and, according to documents seen by just-food, the company plans to step-up its growth rate in key markets.  

7-Eleven has targeted expansion in Greater New York City/northern New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington DC, central and southern Florida, Dallas/Forth Worth, Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Currently, part of its expansion drive includes the opening of 15-20 stores in Jacksonville this year, with 80 new outlets targeted by 2015, with 50 stores planned for the Maryland area in 2012, a spokesperson for the group told just-food. 

"We prefer to open them as franchise operations as we want to be a fully franchised company in the US, but we would open them as company-operated stores until they are franchised," the spokesperson revealed. 

"We've only scratched the surface," the company said in a document detailing its accelerated growth plan. "In fact, store growth will accelerate in the coming years, including acquisitions. We have signed exclusive arrangements in all major growth areas with brokers who are knowledgeable about our business."

The firm said that it had decided to focus on expanding its store footprint now because the poor economic conditions in the US had pushed down the price of real estate and opened up the possibility of obtaining leases that would have been difficult to secure in the past. 

"Despite the economy, consumers want convenience. Being the leaders in the convenience retailing industry we see the opportunity to grow and fill demand for convenience," 7-Eleven said.