Ever Wanted a 7-Eleven? Here's a Deal

Chain hopes to put spark in sagging stores.

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If you're at least 21-years-old, have excellent credit and have $50,000 in liquid assets, the Dallas-based convenience store chain 7-Eleven may have a deal for you.

7-Eleven is waiving its franchise fee for entrepreneurs who want to buy into their own stores at 200 sites across the country, including 29 in Virginia. That could translate into a savings of $80,000.

In Richmond, the opportunities include four stores, including Staples Mill Road, Patterson Road, Turner Road and Midlothian Turnpike, plus others in Chesterfield County, Glen Allen, Hopewell and Prince George.

7-Eleven is using the franchise fee-free lure to hand over under-performing stores to new franchise-holders. Of its 7,800 stores in the United States, about 6,400 are run by franchisees.

According to the “Zero-Franchise Fee Initiative," which lasts to June 30, prospective franchisees could benefit by not having to pay franchise fees, but they still would have to handle local permitting and licensing, and buy inventory usually costing about $30,000.

The pitch may be attractive to individuals or firms that already have franchises for 7-Eleven and want to add more stores to their portfolio.

There are risks, a web-check shows. There have been complaints that the mother firm may demand up to 52 percent of your profits and may micromanage your operation. But if you're already in the game and know how to play, you might save money while expanding.

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