UnhappyFranchisee.Com is receiving a growing number of stories from long-time 7-Eleven franchise owners claiming that 7-Eleven, Inc. is unfairly targeting them, bullying them, and sometimes seizing their stores outright.
Tyrone Carr claims that he is a 60-year-old franchisee who built up and operated the successful Catonsville, MD 7-Eleven (store #11549B) for 20 years.
He claims 7-Eleven, Inc. singled him out, harrassed him, and ultimately seized his store.
Mr. Carr tells us that a jury trial is set to begin in April, 2014.
With only minor copy editing and formatting for readability, Tyrone Carr’s story appears, in his own words, below. UnhappyFranchisee.Com has not verified or fact-checked Mr. Carr’s story, and his opinions are his own.
We have reached out to 7-Eleven, Inc. for their side of the story, but have received no reply. If you or your company has been discussed in this (or another) story, you are invited to send us corrections, clarifications, rebuttals or statement either by leaving a comment or using our “Contact Us” submission form.
You can read other accounts of recent 7-Eleven, Inc. franchise store seizures here: 7-ELEVEN on UnhappyFranchisee.Com
7-ELEVEN Stole My Store – Tyrone Carr’s Story
My name is Tyrone Carr. I was a 7-Eleven franchisee for more than 20 years.
On December 1, 2010, I was forced to surrender my store. This store was my life. And at 60 years old it was the major part of my retirement plan.
The store is located in the town of Catonsville, Maryland. One of the 10 best small towns,in America, to live. In 20 years the sales volume in my store , #11549B, had increased from $600,000 dollars to $1,500,000 dollars. That is more than $1,000 dollars in increase per week. I had not locked the doors to the store in over 10 years. I kept the doors open through holidays, rain, snow, robbery, hail or blow.
This is a real life story of how ” crappy” 7-Eleven . Inc. treats its franchisee’s. 7-Eleven will treat you like “crap” and “slurp” the life out of you. And after 20 years, discard you like burnt pizza.
For the last few years, 7-Eleven Inc. has attempted to put the largest burden of the store’s operation on the franchisees. This included dictating/ demanding what they wanted in every aspect of the business. In and of itself this is not bad. Except their goal is to lessen your input and profit, and work you harder and increase their rewards. And they enforce it unfairly.
For whatever misguided reason I feel that they targeted me. Whether it was to “churn,” changeover the store for the franchise fee, and set an example, or they thought they could do a better job. Or they thought they wanted someone who had no thoughts of their own on how to run a business. I live near the store. And with a new Franchisee, and an A-quip/complete remodel of the store the sales have suffered.
Mr Abbas, the new franchisee, has called me a number of times for advise. He told me the sales volume is down 25 percent.
This is what 7-Eleven’s Market Manager , Mr. Dan Kaepernik, did to show how “crappy” a franchisee can be treated.
Mr. Kaepernik was on the job 3-4 months before he gave me an incurable breach. He had met me 3-4 times. The meeting were strained from day one. I had tried desperately to work with them. But he was on a mission. He refuse every request made. From store repairs to accounting corrections, he refused. He was, at least, the 10th marketing manager I had worked with, and he was the worst.
When he breached me , he arrived between 6 & 7 AM on April 28, 2010. We met and he served me with a breach. Everyone was shocked, including my 7-Eleven business partner, Mr. Jay Gromberg. He was not aware of the breach until it was served. Leading up to this point I had done everything I could do to maintain the profit in the store. The marketing manager attempted to “slurp” the life out of me , by constantly putting great demands on myself and my employees. He shadowed and monitored my cash deposits, merchandise assortment, and store condition constantly.
I made almost 10,000 deposits and lost only one when they were harassing me. They harassed me continuously. And after the Compromise Agreement and store surrender, and a $6,000 dollar cleaning bill to sell the store, in a matter of days they ripped the store apart to do an A-Quip. They re-modeled the store. They re-modeled the store from the sidewalk to the back fence. After 20 years 7-Eleven would not fix the pot-hole in the lot , the holes in the wall, the broken vault, the broken window or the bouncy tile floor.
Most franchisee’s lose their stores because they are in a negative equity position. Through all this harassment , I still had a positive equity in the store. They had audited me 4 times in 6 months. Selectively counting only 7-Eleven recommended merchandise. Under counting by 10’s of thousands of dollars. But I survived on my strong sales, very strong customer base and their Good Will.
7-Eleven will treat you like “crap” and “slurp” the life out of you.
This is what they did to me. They audited the store (4) times in (6) months, (June 2,2010; September 2,2010; October 19,2010; and December 19,2010 – at changeover).
The first (3) times they came en masse, in the early morning. They came in 10-12 cars of security, business managers, locksmith,and Marketing Manager, Dan Kaepernik.
They blocked the parking lot for hours, and caused $1,000 dollars plus drop in sales. Each time there was a confrontation, and they would not leave until I threatened to call police.
I had to bring in my own security, to keep possession of the store. My employees were on alert 24 hours a day. We wanted no violence, and they were instructed to call police, and then me. 7-Eleven tried (3) times to evict me without a legal right.
I fought to keep possession of the store because I knew 7-eleven would interfere with the selling of my Good Will in the store, the Compromise Agreement. I felt this in my heart, because of the way I had been treated before the Compromise Agreement. Mr. Kaepernik had created a very toxic environment. He kept all the other associates and managers at a distance from me.
I spoke to other franchisees, and they were not going through what I had been through. Joe Chilcoat owns four 7-Eleven franchises in Catonsville. When I expressed what I was going through, he was amazed. He remarked that Mr. Kaepernik avoided him like the plague.
When I spoke with Mr. Chilcoat, Mrs. Bea, Mr. Shah, and Mr. Anil (all franchisees near me), they all said the same thing. I was treated differently than all of them. But, I have spoken to them recently and their tone has changed. Their relationship with 7-Eleven Inc. is not well. This is 7-Eleven Inc. “churning” stores to collect additional Franchise Fees.
I brought forth dozens of potential Purchasers. In speaking to Mona Joyce, franchisee manager, 3 or 4 were rejected after expressing a desire to purchase the store. I spoke to Mr. Sanjay Shah. After working to get the store for months he felt that he was very poorly treated. He made calls that were not answered. I spoke to Mr. Herbert Thompson. He felt that he was dismissed with out proper consideration. He was more than qualified. A retired government economist. I think that each and every Potential Purchaser I presented to 7-Eleven Inc. was treated poorly, and they made an effort not to sell to them.
When I started to interview Potential Purchasers, the well had already been poisoned. The first person I interviewed to buy the store was a guy named Jesse. He was aware of the terms of the secret Compromise Agreement. And he expressed that 7-Eleven would never let me sell the store within the 180 day, sale period.
A few days after I surrendered the store, I was approached by Mr. Ken Shipe, the new business manager. He accused me of taking pictures in the store. I asked him when did I take pictures, and for what reason would I do that, why is he so concern, and who made such accusations? He indicated it was the new manager. At that point, he barred me from showing Potential Purchasers the store. I met Potential Purchasers at McDonald’s. The one thing I dreaded the most. It is almost impossible to sell a store you cannot show. I know that with the massive effort I made to sell the store, it would be difficult without access.
7-Eleven is “crap”, They will “slurp” The life out of You.
This is a message to all Franchiseess and Potential Franchisees’s, 7-Eleven Inc. has no concern for its Franchisees. Take it from a 20-year+ franchisee. The largest fast food franchisor in the world, will treat a franchisee/partner worst than an employee. Their only concern is their profit. They have no concern for you or your family.
I am in the middle of a court action with 7-Eleven Inc. at present. The court date is April 18, 2014, in Baltimore County Circuit Court, Case#03-c-12-004722.
I am asking all franchisee’s to join me in a Class Action lawsuit. 7-Eleven is “churning ” for profit. In speaking to a number of current Franchisee’s, the situation has not changed, and may have worsened.
You can contact me by emailing the ADMIN of this site (UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com) and asking for your contact information to be forwarded to me confidentially. Thank You.
20-year 7-Eleven franchisee of store #11549B
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