Monday, July 21, 2008

7-Eleven’s conversion strategy

Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. is accelerating its plan to grow its number of convenience stores in North Texas by targeting existing independent stores and rebranding them.

7-Eleven’s goal is to add 20 Dallas-Fort Worth area stores by year-end, and another 35 stores next year, bringing its North Texas total to 300 by the end of 2009, said James Massey, the 7-Eleven real estate manager for the district that includes the Metroplex. During the next 18 months, the company expects half of its new stores to come from conversions, as opposed to ground-up construction or acquisitions, he said.

Slowing retail sales and thinning profit margins on gasoline are giving 7-Eleven an entree with existing convenience store owners who are willing to consider a new approach, said Massey, adding: “We look at this lull in the market as an opportunity for us.”

Eroding profit margins on gasoline were a major factor in Alan and Rick Golman’s decision to convert their Beverage City convenience store in Plano.