The Keyes to 7-Eleven’s Growth Plan

Jan 20, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Jim Keyes, president and chief executive officer, 7-Eleven is on a mission to “continually redefine convenience”, according to The Dallas Business Journal.

Mr. Keyes offered insights into 7-Eleven’s strategies and practices.

On the economy’s impact on business…

“If we’re very good at our business and keeping up with our customers’ changing needs, then the economy doesn’t matter. We are able to be nimble enough to change our products and services to meet the needs of consumers in a good or bad economy.”

On the company’s traditional products and services…

“We’ve pushed decision-making on to the store managers and their staffs. They’re much more in tune with what’s going on in their neighborhoods than we would be.”

On fresh foods…

“In Asia, as much as 40% of sales comes from fresh food. Here in the United States, our comparable ratio is less than 10%. We are shooting for something in the 20% range or higher over the next few years. It’s a billion-dollar incremental business for us. I believe it will be a slow evolution because people in the U.S. don’t see 7-Eleven as a place for fresh food, necessarily.”

On in-store financial services…

“We see technology as an convenience enabler. It also makes us a better retailer because it helps us target our product and allows us to do things like eliminate cash. Right now we’re rolling out a pre-paid convenience card in Dallas. You load it with cash and use it to buy anything in the store. That’s where we are headed.”

Moderator’s Comment: What is your evaluation of 7-Eleven?

We’re bullish on much of what 7-Eleven has done and plans
to do. The convenience chain continues to prove itself “nimble enough” to meet
the needs of consumers despite being a $10 billion business.
Anderson – Moderator

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