7-Eleven could open an additional 21,500 stores across America, nearly quadrupling the number of U.S. outlets to 30,000.
Toshifumi Suzuki, chief executive of Japan’s Seven & I Holdings Co., the parent of 7-Eleven, Inc., was profiled today in a Bloomberg article authored by Tokyo-based Yuki Yamaguchi.
Suzuki is quoted as saying: ““Our U.S. business has entered the growth stage…”
Yamaguchi writes “Over the past 39 years, Toshifumi Suzuki has expanded 7-Eleven to 50,000 outlets, more than any other retail chain… High on Suzuki’s to-do list is a renewed focus on the U.S., where the chain was founded 86 years ago…
“He has since expanded 7-Eleven into 16 countries, from Indonesia to Denmark. In North America, growth has been modest, with about 8,500 stores today… Suzuki says that with the right management and expansion strategy, that number could increase to almost 30,000.”
Suzuki clearly sees the U.S. market as underserved and ripe for aggressive expansion.
Seven & I Holdings Co. has opened 15,218 7-Eleven stores in Japan, a country with a population of just 128 million.
There are only 8,500 7-Eleven stores in the U.S., despite a population of 315 million.
U.S. outlets also fall far short of their Japanese counterparts in terms of unit sales, with 7-Eleven stores in Japan averaging $8,000 per day versus $4,500 for stores in the U.S.
7-Eleven, Inc. Expects Record Profit
According to Bloomberg, “7-Eleven Inc., the retailer’s U.S. convenience store unit, says it expects a record operating profit of $540 million this fiscal year, a 13 percent increase from last year.
“The parent Seven & I, which also operates Ito-Yokado supermarkets in Japan and other retail businesses, is predicting operating earnings to rise 15 percent to 340 billion yen, a record for the third straight year.”
Seven & I stock has jumped a whopping 54 percent this year, compared to Wal-Mart which posted a 14 percent gain for the same period.
That’s good news for 80-year old Suzuki, who owns a 0.57 percent stake in Seven & I.
Suzuki’s Seven & I stock is currently valued at about $200 million.
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