7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto's 24-7 goal? Growth
Joe DePinto’s job is more than making sure customers can fill up on gas and Big Gulps.
As president and CEO of the world’s largest convenience store chain, he keeps a constant pulse on the needs of the 55 million customers that 7-Eleven serves daily.
That means operating stores that not only offer the standard candy bar and soda selection, but building one-stop shops where a growing number of younger customers can grab grocery needs like fresh snacks, makeup and even over-the-counter medicine through its private brand 7 Select.
And as 7-Eleven is engineering those stores, DePinto is figuring out how to bring them to the masses. This year, 7-Eleven will open at least 3,000 stores across the world, including roughly 300 in North America.
Its U.S. stores will primarily be opened in areas where 7-Eleven can build a concentration of stores. Texas’ Interstate 35 corridor is a particular growth area.
“(Texas is) extremely business friendly, and it’s growing so fast,” DePinto added. “We’re also particularly interested in the I-35 corridor, from Dallas to Austin to San Antonio, again, because of the rapid growth.”
Seven & I Holdings, which owns 7-Eleven Inc. and 7-Eleven Japan, has said it plans to grow 7-Eleven Inc. to 10,000 North American stores by 2019. In the next 10 years, it plans to double to 20,000 locations.
There are 61,000 7-Eleven stores operating in 17 countries worldwide. Globally, the company has added more than 29,000 stores since 2006. 7-Eleven is committed to a franchise model in the U.S., with ninety percent of stores operated by independent franchisees. Outside of the U.S., 7-Eleven stores are operated by licensees.
“In 2006, we were 50 percent company-owned and 50 percent franchised, and we decided to grow our business with a franchise model,” DePinto said. “We were running two different models, and our assessment was that it was a little bit inefficient. Our franchise stores also tended to perform better because of the nature of the franchise business owner and their connectivity to the customers in their neighborhood.”