It was 1927 when the founders of 7-Eleven first surmised that convenience was a valuable commodity to consumers. Since then, the concept has been proven as the company has grown from a few stores around Dallas to over 50,000 locations around the world. While the trademark orange, red, and green logo and uniformed employees might be the most memorable elements of the brand, there is a vast network behind the scenes that drives many of the key elements of what defines a 7-Eleven, including an office in Hacienda on Chabot Drive.
In fact, the company's Hacienda staff currently supports 418 separate locations in the Bay Area. "The Pleasanton office typically serves stores from Cloverdale to the north and to Monterey Bay in the south," says Margaret Chabris, director of Corporate Communications for the company. "The office also serves as a base for personnel from our North Pacific Zone, which includes northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, when they're in the Bay Area. Some 60 people work at the Pleasanton office off and on, but not all at one time. The majority work from their home offices, on the road, and in the stores."
The specific services carried out in the Hacienda office are operations, operations support, merchandising, real estate and development, and franchising:
- Operations and operations support provide ongoing communication with store managers and franchisees to help them build their sales and profits, including the development and execution of operational plans and strategies such as fresh food concepts, fuel sales, customer experience, and store operational infrastructure.
- Merchandising personnel support franchisees by developing, managing, and communicating regional sales plans in concert with overall corporate sales plans, in addition to carrying out tasks such as providing forecasting information and managing vendor relationships, among other duties.
- Real estate and development staff work to manage comprehensive, strategic growth, and asset management strategy, including research and analysis of existing and potential trade areas via demographic variables, pedestrian counts, and site availability. This may also include evaluating and recommending specific sites within identified trade areas for new store development.
- Franchising staff assists in the process of bringing new franchisees into the organization, including applicant interviews, qualification testing, store selection, business planning, and more.
While 7-Eleven has traditionally been known for its Big Gulps, Slurpees, and coffee, the company and stores themselves are evolving to serve customer demand. "A lot of what goes on in this office is related to the changes in our business and our customers' needs," says Chabris. "Our stores' focus is on fresh foods, hot foods, and our high-quality private brand products, called 7-Select, that offer a very good value. We have an off-site commissary that makes and delivers bakery goods, fresh sandwiches, salads, and fruit to our stores every single day, and the merchandizing people here are involved in the fresh food delivery process as well as quality control."
For more information on 7-Eleven and a directory of store locations in the area, access www.7-eleven.com. Franchising information is available at franchise. 7-eleven.com .
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