7-Eleven Inc. has committed nearly $95 million to support its franchisees in this crucial time as they provide their local customers the food, beverages, household essentials and other critical supplies they need in a clean and safe environment.
"7-Eleven franchisees are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic serving the communities in which they operate," said Chief Franchise Officer Greg Franks. "I'm proud of the leadership and commitment to customers that each franchisee has shown since the health crisis began by providing food, beverages and other critical supplies to the communities they serve."
The corporate commitment to franchisees includes support in the following areas:
- 7-Eleven provided direct payment of credits that will result in millions of dollars in cash-flow assistance to franchisees in March, April and the coming months. These adjustments include direct payments of Operations Credits to franchisees, waiving the April advertising fee, waiving the interest that franchisees pay on their inventory, and passing along third-party renegotiated maintenance fees.
INVESTING IN CLEAN & SAFE STORES
- The company is installing plexiglass sneeze guards at the front sales counters to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
- 7-Eleven continues to purchase and supply franchisees with necessary cleaning supplies, at its own expense, to support franchisees in keeping their employees safe and their stores clean. Supplies include hand sanitizer, hand soap, sink sanitizer, gloves, disinfectant, social distancing floor decals, thermometers, face masks and face shields.
- Leveraging the brand's strong relationships in merchandising and procurement, 7-Eleven is committed to keeping the stores stocked with essential supplies that are in high customer demand, including pantry essentials, fresh foods, over-the-counter medications and paper products.
- 7-Eleven set up a Franchise Financial Solutions Center to further support franchisees during this turbulent time. The purpose of this resource is to work together with franchisees to navigate their individual issues caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
- 7-Eleven is also engaged in continuing efforts to enhance the ability of franchisees to obtain loans through government stimulus programs.
"This is a very fluid situation," Franks told Convenience Store News in an exclusive interview. "Everybody in the company is working every day to understand the stores' needs and to respond to those needs."
About two weeks ago, the Irving, Texas-based company set up a 24/7 Command Center to accept questions from the field and quickly respond. "The Command Center took in 606 issues and turned around 602 of them in the first 10 days," Franks shared.
Sharp, crisp and frequent communication has been a key component of 7-Eleven's corporate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There's a daily morning call between senior leadership and field leadership. There are also frequent calls between 7-Eleven's CEO Roundtable, a group of leading franchisees from around the country who advise the CEO, and the company's National Business Leadership Council, another platform designed for addressing challenges and issues facing 7-Eleven franchisees. Additionally, there are daily field leadership calls among zone vice presidents and marketing managers.
"It was absolutely critical and appropriate that convenience stores were designated an essential business," said Franks. "We are so proud of our franchisees and corporate store leaders across the country that, despite the threat to their own safety, are staying open and playing a critical role in supplying food, beverages and other merchandise to their communities."
Irving-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 70,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.
Originally published by Convenience Stores News.