100 7-Eleven stores in 3 years

PHILIPPINE Seven Corp. (PSC), the country licensee of global convenience store chain 7-Eleven, is planning to open 100 stores in Cebu in the next three years.

Thirty of the stores are slated to open this year, bringing a total of 850 store branches by year-end, said PSC president and chief executive officer Jose Victor Paterno yesterday.

Paterno said they are looking at an average of P5 million in investment per branch opening.

7-Eleven now has 750 stores, mainly located in Luzon. Yesterday, the company formally opened seven stores in Cebu in Escario Central, JY Square Mall, University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, Tune Hotels, Bigfoot Ramos, Caltex North Reclamation Area, and Caltex Gen Maxilom Ave.

Paterno said their expansion in Cebu was spurred by the city’s fast growing economy, which is backed by the booming tourism and business process outsourcing industries.

“You have a call center phenomenon here and a bullish economy,” Paterno said during the press conference in 7-Eleven Escario Central. “We recently felt Cebu can already support the critical mass in terms of stores and retail activity.”

Hub

Paterno said Cebu will become the logistic hub as they intend to invest on a large warehouse in an industrial zone with a Cebuano logistic partner to serve future expansions in Bacolod and Ilo-ilo.

“It was logistics that took us so long to expand operations here,” Paterno said.

He said the company was flattered by Cebuanos’ response to the soft opening of some of its branches. “It outperformed our expectations,” he said.

7-Eleven is popular for its iconic drink, Slurpee.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said in her speech that 7-Eleven’s entry is a welcome development for Cebu. She said it signified Cebu’s position as an ideal location for global businesses.

Paterno also said their partnership with Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI) will further strengthen their business operations.

Growth

The agreement, which was inked last July, would enable PSC to open 7-Eleven stores in Caltex stations in Metro Cebu. At least 15 stores will be opened at Caltex outlets this year.

PSC acquired from 7-Eleven Inc of Dallas, Texas the license to operate 7-Eleven stores in the Philippines in 1982.

Seeing the potential of the brand to grow in the country, President Chain Store Corp. (Taiwan), owner of 7-Eleven Taiwan, purchased 50.4 percent of PSC in 2000 to strengthen the company and to enable PSC to pursue store expansion plans.

7-Eleven has grown by an average of 20 percent annually since it focused into franchising in 2005. Last year, PSC grew by 30 percent.

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