Future Group to bring 7-Eleven to India

The world’s largest chain of convenience stores, 7-Eleven, will make its India debut later this year.

Mumbai-based Future Group-owned Future Retail said it has signed a master franchise agreement through its subsidiary, SHME Food Brands, with 7-Eleven Inc. to develop and operate 7-Eleven stores in Asia’s third-largest economy.

“7-Eleven stores could open over the next few months, starting with Mumbai,” said Kishore Biyani, founder and group CEO, Future Group. This will make India the company’s 18th market.

Biyani declined to give details on number of stores, but added that the company is targeting revenues of $1 billion over the next 7-8 years.

Under the deal, 7-Eleven will support Future Retail in implementing and localizing the unique 7-Eleven business model, the two companies said in a stock exchange filing. Future Group will add new stores and even convert some of its existing ones to 7-Elevens, they said. Future Retail will be allowed to do sub-franchising as part of the agreement.

Japanese-owned and US-headquartered 7-Eleven has a network of over 67,000 stores the world over. The chain runs small format convenience stores that stock an assortment of fresh and packaged foods, beverages and items of daily use, and has a large presence in markets such as Thailand, the US, and Japan.

The stores in India will focus on fresh and packaged food tailored to Indian tastes, Biyani said. “It will be more food-driven and a very urban- centric format. We will be open 24 hours wherever we can,” he said. “I think the urban markets are ready for a format where customers can get their lunch, breakfast, dinner, a lot of food and convenience items.”

For now, the chain will focus only on urban areas, he said. “The aim is to go deeper in big cities. We will target busy areas. We have identified corporate parks, educational institutes, bus stops, colleges, and airports.”

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