7‑Eleven set to open stores in Vietnam

7‑Eleven, Inc. has signed a master franchise agreement with Seven System Vietnam Co. Ltd. to develop and operate convenience stores in Vietnam

The 7-Eleven convenience store signage is seen on a street in Tokyo.

The very first 7‑Eleven store will be inaugurated in Vietnam between April 2017 and April 2018 as the world’s largest convenience retailer handed over the control of the franchising activities to a local entity on Wednesday.

7‑Eleven, Inc. has signed a master franchise agreement with Seven System Vietnam Co. Ltd., a new firm founded by a Vietnamese restaurant chain, to develop and operate 7‑Eleven stores in the Southeast Asian country, the Japanese company said in a press release issued from Dallas, where it is headquartered.

The expansion to Vietnam marks the company’s first stake in the Pacific Rim since 7‑Eleven entered Indonesia in 2009.

“7‑Eleven’s entry into the country aims to enhance the convenience-shopping experience for Vietnamese customers and contribute to modernizing small retailers in the world’s 13th most populous country,” the company said.

The new master franchisee plans to construct 7‑Eleven stores, convert existing locations to the 7‑Eleven brand supported by enhanced infrastructure, and eventually franchise operations to local businesspeople, it added.

Internationally popular products like Slurpee® frozen carbonated beverages and Big Gulp® soft drinks, as well as immediately consumable fresh foods, with recipes developed for regional tastes, will be part of the convenience offerings.

7‑Eleven and its parent company, Seven-Eleven Japan, will provide start-up support for its newest master franchisee by assisting Seven System Vietnam in implementing 7‑Eleven’s successful strategies of market concentration, team merchandising and item-by-item management.

7‑Eleven boasts 56,400 stores worldwide, and Vietnam will be the 18th country or region where it operates.

The 7‑Eleven press release does not elaborate on the exact opening time of its first Vietnam store.

But Kyodo News reported on Thursday, citing Japanese retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co., which owns Seven-Eleven Japan, that Vietnam’s first 7-Eleven store is expected to be opened in Ho Chi Minh City “in the year from April 2017.”

The number of 7-Eleven stores in the country will then be expanded to 100 in three years and to 1,000 in ten years, according to the Tokyo-based news agency.

Seven System Vietnam Co. will receive product development and other know-how fostered in Japan from four employees seconded to the country by Seven-Eleven Japan.

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