CLEVELAND — 7-Eleven Inc. continues to transition from company-owned stores to franchises and as part of that move, the retailer is turning its focus to the Cleveland-Akron area of Ohio.
The Dallas-based company is currently seeking franchisees for 37 convenience stores in the market.
Many of these stores were part of the retailer's purchase of 67 Easy Trip/BP convenience stores in the Cleveland and Akron area and in the Pittsburgh market. The stores previously were owned by EZ Energy USA Inc., based in Seven Hills, a Cleveland suburb, according to the Norwalk Reflector.
7-Eleven bought the stores in 2012, during a cross-country growth spurt. Prior to the purchase, there were fewer than a dozen 7-Eleven stores in Ohio. After rebranding the stores, 7-Eleven is now ready to find franchisees, company spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the newspaper.
The retailer will host an open house on Sept. 25 for potential franchisees at the 1205 Main St. store in Cuyahoga Falls. The event will feature store tours, and a company representative will be on hand to answer questions about the 7-Eleven franchise system.
These days, "7-Eleven is basically a franchise company," Chabris said. More than three quarters of its approximately 8,000 U.S. stores are franchise operations — up from half about 20 years ago.
Franchisees "really put their heart and soul into building the business," she added.