A new survey of 7-Eleven franchise owners shows the growing divide between the franchisees who operate 7-Eleven stores and their corporate management. Franchise owners are currently facing an impossible decision regarding the future of their businesses and their livelihoods.
7-Eleven is pressuring all franchise owners to sign a new franchise agreement by December 31, 2018, even though less than 25% have agreements that expire between now and 2020. Among those questioned in a National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) survey, less than 5% agreed with the statement, “Based on the new 2019 agreement, my stores(s) will be more profitable.”
The Franchisee Satisfaction Survey was sent to over 5,300 franchised stores. The majority of the 767 respondents are long-time franchise owners (77% have been franchisees for over 5 years, and 27% have been franchisees for more than 15 years). According to the survey, 43% believe that 7-Eleven’s 2019 franchise agreement is the No. 1 issue they face today; 37% believe franchisee profitability is most important.
Evident in the survey results is an overall sense of mistrust in 7-Eleven corporate management as well as the belief that those in power do not have the best interests of franchise owners at heart.
Among the findings:
The 2019 franchise agreement includes provisions which directly affect the ability of franchisees to operate their stores independently. It also mandates all stores remain open on Christmas Day.
“Franchise owners are at a crossroads,” said Jay Singh, NCASEF chairman. “In many parts of the country, more stores are for sale than ever before, and this is a direct result of the unfair franchise agreement which has been put forth. The agreement takes away our ability to remain profitable, operate independently and grow our businesses. It is very telling when 72% of owners say they wouldn’t purchase a store again and 80% say they don’t believe management has franchisees’ best interests at heart.”
Singh has repeatedly asked 7-Eleven President and CEO Joseph DePinto to sit down to negotiate a new agreement – one which is fair to both sides. To date, those requests have gone unanswered.
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