Convenience Store Decisions – 17 MARCH 2016
7-Eleven, Inc. is bringing back its successful Zero Franchise Fee initiative as an ongoing program to offer a low-cost investment opportunity for both proven business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.
The Zero Franchise Fee initiative helps a number of aspiring 7-Eleven franchise owners save up to $80,000.
After a strong response to its Zero Franchise Fee initiative last year, 7-Eleven has decided to bring the program back in 2016 as an ongoing program to offer a low-cost investment opportunity for both proven business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.
In the program, 7-Eleven will waive the franchise fee on a select number of its U.S. stores available for franchising, a savings of up to $80,000. Last year, the Zero Franchise Fee initiative allowed 100 people to become new 7-Eleven store-owners or multiple store-owners.
“We had such a great response last year when we launched the limited-time Zero Franchise Fee offer that we decided to bring it back,” said Lawrence Hughes, 7-Eleven vice president of franchise systems. “Hard-working Americans are always looking for great opportunities, and I think 7-Eleven is one of the best around. Becoming a 7-Eleven franchisee without the upfront expense of a franchise fee makes it an attainable goal for many who otherwise might not be able to own their own business.”
Approximately 300 eligible stores are available across the country in markets like Dallas, Cleveland, Charlotte, N.C.; Virginia Beach, Va., and Buffalo, N.Y. These stores typically have lower sales volume compared to the national average.
In the last five years, 7-Eleven has grown its store base by more than 1,600 locations through acquisition and new construction. The retailer is looking to transition these stores from company to franchise operations now that they have an established customer base.
The convenience retailer is offering these stores to prospective, qualified franchisees as well as existing 7-Eleven franchisees who want to grow their retail business by adding stores.
To qualify for the Zero Franchise Fee offer, a candidate must be at least 21 years old and a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency, have three to five years of retail, operations and management experience, have excellent credit and at least $50,000 in liquid assets. Prospective franchise owners will still be responsible for the costs of licensing, permits and the initial down-payment on inventory, totaling approximately $30,000. Prospective franchisees for Zero Franchise Fee stores will undergo the standard franchise approval process, which takes between five and seven months.
After extensive training, 7-Eleven franchisees open their doors with a fully-equipped and stocked store with intuitive retail technology, merchandising and advertising support, high-quality national and private-brand products, and some of the world’s most recognizable brands like Slurpee and Big Gulp drinks.
“Not only do franchisees get the power of the 7-Eleven brand behind them, but also a proven business system, extensive training and ongoing support as they build their businesses,” Hughes said.
In business publications and Websites like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Franchise Direct and FranchiseRankings.com, 7-Eleven continues to rank at or near the top of their lists of best franchises to own. Military Times also named 7-Eleven as one of its “Best for Vets” franchises.
All Zero Franchise Fee opportunities also qualify for 7-Eleven’s Gross Income Support Program that provides additional, limited-time financial support.