I never thought I would see this! The iconic 7-Eleven convenience store is coming to Israel but with one catch—unlike the other 77,000 locations around the world, the sites in Israel will be closed on Shabbat (Friday evening to Saturday evening). The store's name originated from the hours the stores kept (open 7 am to 11 pm) and the fact that they were open 7 days a week.
The US mega-chain, which is in 18 countries, traces its roots back almost 100 years to an icehouse company in Texas. It is now owned by a company in Tokyo, but the headquarters remain where it all started—in Dallas. Electra Consumer Products in Israel signed a deal recently to invest 60 million NIS (almost $19 million) to open hundreds of the mini-marts across the land. The first store will open in Tel Aviv next year.
"I am sure that the shopping experience at 7-Eleven will be different and special for the Israeli consumer," Electra CEO Zvika Schwimmer said.
Schwimmer said at first, stores will be primarily opened in city centers and near office complexes—anywhere there is a lot of potential customer traffic. The sites will offer fast food, hot drinks, and other specialties. Schwimmer said he has already "received thousands of inquiries from franchisees and grocery store owners who want to convert their stores."
Electra is best known as an appliance maker, but it seems to be diversifying—not only with 7-Elevens—but earlier this year, in May, the company purchased 200 grocery stores in Israel—Yeinot Bitan supermarkets.
The 7-Eleven deal is for 20 years, with an option to continue for 50 more. Reportedly, after an initial lump sum payment to the parent company, Electra will then pay them a percentage of the monthly store income.