Market Overview

Former 7-Eleven CEO Offers Hope to Franchise Owners During Turbulent Times


Former 7-Eleven President and CEO Jim Keyes made a welcomed and surprise
appearance closing out the 2018 National Coalition of Associations of
7-Eleven Franchisees convention in Orlando. His speech, highlighting the
importance of change in American business and the strength of the
franchise model, came as franchisees are at odds with the company over
terms of a new agreement to keep operating their convenience stores.

The National Coalition says Keyes' appearance at the convention
demonstrates the mutual respect shared by 7-Eleven franchisees and the
former boss, who led a turnaround of 7-Eleven, saving the company from
the brink of extinction in 1991. 7-Eleven is now the world's biggest
retail chain with nearly 70,000 locations around the world.

"If I could point to one most critical factor in the success of 7-Eleven
or in the success of an individual franchisee, it would be the
importance of embracing change. We were obsessed with innovation, using
the eyes and ears of thousands of franchisees to find new products, and
deploying technologies that met the changing needs of convenience
customers," said Keyes, who worked for 7-Eleven for 21 years and served
as President and CEO from 2000 to 2005, retiring after it was sold to
the Japanese company Seven & I Holdings.

National Coalition Chairman Jay Singh reminded the audience of 1,300
franchisees that Keyes led 7-Eleven through 40 quarters of improved same
store sales and strong earnings and maintained open lines of
communication with franchise owners even during times of conflict.

"You represent the entrepreneurial spirit that is the backbone of
American business and the embodiment of the American Dream," Keyes

While he did not address the current relationship between 7-Eleven and
its store owners, which The New York Times characterized in a recent
as having been "deteriorating for years," Keyes highlighted
the value of the franchise model—crediting pioneers like 7-Eleven
founder Joe C Thompson, Ray Kroc of McDonalds, and Fred DeLuca of Subway
for creating a path to middle class success for so many.

Keyes shared one story of a franchisee, who is also a development agent
for the Subway chain: "He came from South Asia as a young man to work in
his uncle's 7-Eleven store. He saved his money but took a different
path, discovering that Subway provided a similar opportunity. The same
family enjoyed success as entrepreneurs in two different companies with
the same successful outcome, achieving the American Dream."

About the NCASEF: The
National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees
the national trade association for 7-Eleven franchise owners.
founded in 1973, NCASEF is comprised of 44 Franchise Association members
who represent more than 4,600 7-Eleven owners in the U.S.

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