7-Eleven Inc. has earned the No. 3 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s annual Franchise 500, which ranks top franchise opportunities in the U.S., Franchising.com reported.
This is the chain’s 17th year to secure a spot on the Top 10 of the Franchise 500.
7-Eleven opened more than 1,800 stores around the world last year, of which more than 250 were in the U.S. The company plans continued growth and has projected opening more than 1,000 stores in U.S. and Canada in the next three years, mostly in Virginia, Florida and Texas.
“We are honored to once again receive this prestigious recognition from Entrepreneur magazine,” said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. “We have a winning franchise system, and this is well deserved recognition for our outstanding Franchise owners and 7-Eleven associates.”
The chain’s Business Conversion Program (BCP) has aided its expansion. For its BCP opportunity, 7-Eleven seeks qualified, independent operators who feel the recession’s squeeze or have the desire to grow their business backed by a successful franchise system. The company offers its proven business model, popular products and generous field and marketing support, and spends as much as $250,000 on average to assist in converting locations to the 7-Eleven brand. Since first offering its BCP in 2005, 7-Eleven has added more than 170 stores through the program.
The chain also offers U.S. Armed Forces veterans a 15% franchisee fee discount, initiated last year. The discount can mean savings of between $7,500 and more than $50,000. A number of honorably discharged veterans already have been qualified to participate in the program.
Entrepreneur magazine ranked companies based on financial and statistical data from July 2008 through July 2009. All companies, regardless of size, are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. Other considerations include the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it’s been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations, and whether the company provides financing. The objective factors are plugged into Entrepreneur’s exclusive Franchise 500 formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score. The 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500. Two other c-store retailers also made the list: Circle K ranked No. 25 and ampm ranked No. 10.