7-Eleven inks pact with Future Retail, store launch soon

Chennai: The world’s largest chain of convenience stores, 7-Eleven, will make its India debut later this year as the firm has teamed up with Mumbai-based Future Group-owned Future Retail.

The entities signed a master franchise agreement, (Future Retail through its subsidiary, SHME Food Brands) to develop and operate 7-Eleven stores in the country. This will make India the company’s 18th market.

“7-Eleven stores could open over the next few months, starting with Mumbai,” said founder and group CEO, Future Group, Kishore Biyani. Biyani but added that the company is targeting revenues of $1 billion over the next seven to eight years.

Under the agreement, 7-Eleven will support Future Retail in implementing and localising the unique 7-Eleven business model, the two companies said in a stock exchange filing. Future Group will add new stores and even convert some of its existing ones to 7-Elevens, they said.

Future Retail will be allowed to do sub-franchising as part of the agreement.

The stores in India will focus on fresh and packaged food tailored to Indian tastes, Biyani said and added, “It will be more food-driven and a very urban-centric format. We will be open 24 hours wherever we can. I think the urban markets are ready for a format where customers can get their lunch, breakfast, dinner, a lot of food and convenience items.”

“The aim is to go deeper in big cities. We will target busy areas. We have identified corporate parks, educational institutes, bus stops, colleges, and airports,” he said.

Japanese-owned and US-headquartered 7-Eleven has a network of over 67,000 stores the world over. The chain runs small-format convenience stores that stock an assortment of fresh and packaged foods, beverages and items of daily use, and has a presence in markets such as Thailand, the US, and Japan.

Future Group is among the largest retailers in India. It operates 1,440 stores in more than 400 cities across its Big Bazaar, Easy Day, Nilgiri’s, Fashion at Big Bazaar, and Central formats, among others.

NT Bureau