"Somewhere in the world, every two hours, a new 7-Eleven opens.
That’s right; the favorite retailer of highway road stops, street corners and late-night Big Gulp sodas is quietly taking over the world. In 2011, 4,600 7-Eleven stores opened, bringing the retail brand to more than 46,000 locations across the globe. That’s the most units of any company in the world, 7-Eleven Inc. claims.
In today’s busy world, convenience has become a universal value. While other retailers struggle to export their store concept away from home, 7-Eleven has expanded into 16 countries. The company started out in Dallas in 1927 selling blocks of ice but now is based in Japan, where its parent company Seven & I Holdings Co. is headquartered.
Today 7-Eleven is aiming to grow mostly in South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Canada. A total of 3,132 stores opened in those countries last year, according to Seven & I Holdings Co.'s annual report. In the United States, the chain is targeting urban markets like New York City and Charlotte, N.C., hoping to mimic expansion strategies that served it well in Taipei and Tokyo.
All this has led to a "big gulp" of profit. Parent company Seven & I Holdings took in roughly $62.4 billion in sales in 2011, compared with $57.4 billion in 2010 and $33.6 billion in 2006." (More)