White Hen Exits Illinois Towns

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White Hen Exits Illinois Towns

GENEVA, Ill. -- One White Hen convenience store here and two in neighboring St. Charles, Ill., will be renovated and renamed 7-Eleven, the company told the Kane County Chronicle.

7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the paper both White Hen stores in St. Charles -- at 2400 Main St. and 1705 W. Main St. -- and at least one store in Geneva -- at 1105 Randall Court -- would be converted to the 7-Eleven format.

Employees at the selected White Hen Pantry stores confirmed the renovations would be underway shortly. "We actually don't know when, but it's going to happen," Courtney Nystrom, store manager at the Randall Court store, told the newspaper. "It's just kind of going to happen when it happens."

The city has already issued a permit for the Randall Court White Hen to change its sign, according to Dick Untch, Geneva's community development director. In addition, Theresa Fawcett, the city's economic development coordinator, told the paper the West Main Street store applied for a similar sign permit.

The rebranding campaign is part of 7-Eleven's strategy for the White Hen stores, which the Dallas-based convenience-store giant bought in August, Chabris said.

"This is no secret; it's part of what we planned all along," she told the paper. "Our goal was to build the 7-Eleven brand in Chicagoland, and this is one of the ways we are doing it."

In northeast Illinois, 10 stores already have been converted, and the company has plans under way at 10 additional Chicago-area stores. By the end of 2007, 7-Eleven intends to complete the conversion of 100 White Hen stores to the 7-Eleven brand, according to the report.

"The White Hen name will not just suddenly cease to exist," Chabris told the Chronicle. "But it will be phased out over the course of several years."

The pace of the transformation is dependent on a number of factors, including the cost of renovations, she said. The interior of the stores were updated, including new shelving, counters, rearranged product placement and the installation of 7-Eleven's trademark Slurpee machines.

"This is not just as simple as slapping a new sign on the front," Chabris said.