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7-Eleven & Circle K Rank Among Top U.S. Franchises

Criteria include brand strength, size and growth, and financial stability.
Logos for 7-Eleven Inc. and Circle K

NATIONAL REPORT — Two of the top convenience store chains in the United States are also two of the top franchises in the country. 7-Eleven Inc. and Circle K appeared on Entrepreneur's 44th Franchise 500 ranking.

7-Eleven ranked at No. 18, while Circle K, the global convenience store banner of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., was No. 88, reported Chain Store Age, a sister publication of Convenience Store News.

Multiple key factors went into Entrepreneur's annual evaluation, including:

  • Costs and fees: franchise fee, total investment and royalty fees
  • Size and growth: open and operating units, growth rate and closures
  • Brand strength: system size, years in business, years in franchising and social media
  • Support: includes training times, marketing and operational support, financing availability, franchisor infrastructure and litigation
  • Financial strength and stability: franchisor's audited financial statements

Each franchise received a cumulative score based on an analysis of more than 150 data points. The 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores became the Franchise 500 in ranking order.

To be eligible, a franchisor must be seeking new franchisees in the United States and Canada and must have had a minimum of 10 locations open and operating as of July 31, 2022, with at least one franchise located in North America.

Taco Bell topped the overall list of franchises. The full list is available here.

7-Eleven and Couche-Tard's Circle K brand were also recently spotlighted as being among the 10 most popular grocers in America according to a recent poll from market research and data analytics firm YouGov.

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 77,000 stores in 15 countries and regions with the 7-Eleven trademark represented on more than 83,000 stores, while Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard operates in 24 countries and territories with more than 14,300 stores, of which approximately 10,900 offer road transportation fuel.

According to the report, since it began offering franchising opportunities in 1995, Circle K has grown to include more than 600 franchised stores in the U.S. and more than 2,000 locations outside of the U.S. 

Chain Store Age and Convenience Store News are properties of EnsembleIQ.

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