Q&A: Does 7-Eleven Franchise in the UK?

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7-Eleven is one of the world’s most popular and prominent convenience store brands, but is it a franchise you can make your fortune with right here in the UK? In this article, we’re going to answer that very question and explore the UK convenience store market in more detail.

Considering it’s one of the most well-known and largest convenience store brands on the planet, it’s not surprising that lots of people are keen to learn more about the prospect of owning a 7-Eleven franchise. The business is known for its gut-busting Big Gulp drink, which holds almost a litre of liquid, as well as its tasty on-the-go snacks and frozen Slurpees. With more than 63,000 stores operating in more than 17 countries, it’s a common sight in lots of places around the globe.

History of 7 Eleven

7-Eleven is an American chain of retail stores and one of the most recognisable brands in the world. Though the business is now Japanese-owned, it has its headquarters in Dallas, Texas and is an established part of the US retail landscape. 7-Eleven was set up by ‘Uncle Johnny’ Jefferson Green in 1927, after he was inspired to open a small store at a local icehouse. The store sold everyday staples to his local community in Dallas, Texas, running what many consider to be the world’s first convenience store.

By 1937, owner of local ice docks Joe C. Thompson Jr helped Uncle Johnny to take his idea to other locations. The stores are named “Tote’m Stores" initially. What prompted the company to change its name to the one we all know and love today was a marketing ploy, which aimed to promote the stores’ long opening hours, which were from 7am to 11pm every single day.

In 1991, 7-Eleven was mostly sold to Ito-Yokado and 7-Eleven’s Japanese operations, saving its from bankruptcy. Now, 7-Eleven's parent company is known as Seven-Eleven Japan and has its headquarters in Tokyo. In total, it operates approximately 66,580 stores in as many as 17 countries. With its distinctive branding and logo, 7-Eleven businesses are instantly recognisable and can be found on street corners, in shopping centres, and at petrol stations outside of towns and cities across the globe.

Does 7 Eleven franchise?

7-Eleven does have a franchise model, but it’s not currently offering it in the UK. The convenience store started offering its franchise model in 1964, after purchasing a number of Speedee Mart franchises across California. 7-Eleven was ranked #1 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2017 Top 500 rankings list, and was named one of Fast Company magazine’s ‘Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail’ in the world. The company has also been ranked as one of the Military Times’ Best for Vets franchises. So, it’s clear that, where 7-Eleven does franchise, it’s doing pretty well for itself and is a great choice for prospective franchisees to join.

How to get involved with 7 Eleven

There aren’t any 7-Eleven stores in the UK, either company owned or franchised. So, you won’t be able to get involved with the brand if you’re looking for employment or a new business venture on domestic territory. However, if you’re open to becoming a franchisee in another country, you will be able to get involved with the brand in a number of different ways.

7-Eleven currently operates in more than 17 countries and welcomes applications from interested franchisees on its website. The franchise model is unique in that it shares profits from across the group with its franchisees, as well as the royalties they make on sales, offering all franchisees multiple revenue streams within their business.

You can choose from its three business models. These are:

  • Single-store franchise model - a franchisee opens one store to begin, with scope to open more if they choose to.
  • Multiple-store franchise model – a franchisee commits to opening lots of locations, ideally suited to experienced retailers and managers.
  • Business conversion programme – current convenience stores can convert their successful shop into a 7-Eleven branded location.

It’s not clear how much the overall franchise cost is to join the 7-Eleven brand, but you can find out more information about the financials here.

The convenience store market in the UK

The UK’s convenience store market is predicted to grow massively over the next few years, with IGD research predicting its value will exceed £47.2bn by 2023. More than 33,500 of these kinds of shops exist in the UK and you’ll find it hard to walk through any city centre, residential estate or even countryside village without coming across a convenience store or two.

Recent years have seen a change in shopping trends, with shoppers shun large weekly or bi-monthly shops in favour of regular trips to convenient, inner-city convenience stores. IGD’s director of insight Simon Wainwright explains:

“Major opportunities exist for making c-stores front of mind for shopping trips, particularly those that help shoppers save time. Younger shoppers are key to growth as they are predisposed to shopping at c-stores for more shopping missions than older shoppers. Having grown up in the era of ‘new convenience’, offering wider ranges, longer opening hours and supermarket quality, younger generations will be key to driving ongoing growth, but have high expectations that need to be met.”

Similar franchise opportunities

Looking to make a healthy income from a similar opportunity? Here are our pick of just some of the fantastic opportunities here at Point Franchise and beyond that you can get involved with.

One Stop

This convenience giant has more than 900 locations across the UK and 180 of these are run by hard-working franchisees. If you’d like to become part of the One Stop network, you’re in luck – it’s currently on the lookout for new franchisees across the country.

One Stop is a franchise with a heart, as all of its franchisees and company owned sites give back to the community they’re based in. This includes doing things such as supporting local schools, donating to foodbanks and helping charities.

  • Becoming a One Stop franchisee: You’ll need to have your own store, or a suitable site lined up that’s ready for you to move into relatively soon, to become a One Stop franchisee. The franchise doesn’t state that you need any previously experience, but it’s likely that a retail management background will certainly be helpful.
  • How much you need to invest: Surprisingly, you won’t need to invest a lot to start your very own One Stop franchise. Franchise fees start from just £92 per week, but you will need to prove that you’ve got a strong credit score and the business acumen to ensure that your store is a success.
  • What you get for your investment: You’ll receive lots of training before you open your own One Stop store, including access to a dedicated Business Development Manager who will visit you on-site at least once a month.

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe

Got a sweet tooth and want to make an even sweeter profit capitalising on it? Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe could be the ideal opportunity for you. With more than 75 locations in the UK alone, and more in the pipeline, it already has a great presence across the country. But the company is looking to introduce its concept to more and more people up and down our nation.

Mr Simms was founded in 2004 by Martin Peet, the descendant of generations of confectionary retailers dating all the way back to 1891. Now, the sweet shop franchise is even expanding internationally, showing that people all across the globe have got a sweet tooth and a taste for the good old days.

  • Becoming a Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe franchisee: You won’t need any experience to join the franchise, as its extensive training programme covers everything you’ll need to know through a series of classroom-based and in-store sessions prior to your grand opening. However, you will need to be passionate about confectionary, committed to your community and dedicated to offering a sweet service to all customers. If you’re interested, get in touch with the franchise to discuss opening a store in your local area.
  • How much you need to invest: Invest just £37,000 and you could become the owner of your very own location, selling everything from traditional hard boiled sweets to tempting chocolate goodies and everything in between.
  • What you get for your investment: You’ll have access to ongoing staff training programmes and online training manuals, as well as the chance to run your very own traditional confectionary shop in the heart of your local community.

7-Eleven: Not just a Beyoncé song …

So, although you can’t become part of the 7-Eleven brand in the UK, there are lots of other exciting opportunities that you can invest your time and money in. And with the convenience market set to experience impressive growth in the coming years, now seems like an excellent time to invest in your very own corner store to service your local community.

Not convinced this is the right opportunity for you? Take a look through our franchise directory, where you’ll find almost 300 franchise opportunities that are looking for new individuals to help expand their networks across the country.

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