Seven-Eleven is the convenience store that we all know and love. Founded in New York in 1950, the convenience store now has almost 700 locations in the United States and Canada. If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a fan of 7-Eleven or have at least heard of it.
One of the brands known for its large range of convenience foods and speedy checkout experiences is set to become the first foreign company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company, formerly known as 7-Eleven Japan, changed its name to become synonymous with its North American operations and expand into the UK and continental Europe. So how long will it be before we see a Seven-Eleven in England?
The Rise Of The ‘Gap Year’
The globalisation of higher education is impacting the way we think about gap years. Whereas in the past, students would take a year out between school and university, the modern ‘gap year’ is evolving to allow students to continue their education while also working or traveling. This ‘working gap year’ is an ideal scenario for those who want to gain valuable job experience, travel and/or explore the world, and meet new people. It’s also the ideal gap year for those who are passionate about a certain subject and want to gain more knowledge on it.
Why England Is Unique
Now, let’s take a trip back in time to the late 1950s. At that point, the United Kingdom was among the world’s most advanced countries when it came to scientific research and education. It was second only to the United States in industrial production and had one of the most sophisticated economies in the world. It also boasted one of the most literate populations.
Due to its global position, many North American colleges and universities opened branches or set up study centers in the United Kingdom. This led to an increase in the number of North American graduates settling in the UK, looking for post-graduate studies. It was also a Golden Age for English students, as there were a large number of high-quality universities that catered to their needs. Graduates could study almost anywhere in the UK, so long as they had the necessary qualifications. This made England a paradise for ambitious students who wanted to make the most of their gap year.
The Spread Of 7-Eleven
In 1962, a year out of school would inevitably bring the issue of what to do with the gap year. Some students would take extended vacations in the south of France, while others would join the Peace Corps and help to rebuild education and health systems in developing nations. It was during this time that 7-Eleven began to spread across Europe. In Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands, the brand took off in a big way and remains popular even today.
In the UK, however, the first 7-Elevens opened in Oxford in 1968 and Manchester a few years later. At first, only a few shops opened in small towns, before the big cities got their own locations as well.
Expansion In The UK
In 2019, 7-Eleven expanded into the UK through a merger with international companies such as Iceland, New Zealand and South Africa. This is in line with the brand’s strategy to diversify its income streams and enter new markets. In 2021 alone, the company expects to double its size in the UK.
The acquisition of the international companies will give 7-Eleven access to new trade agreements, as well as allow it to tap into the knowledge and expertise of existing staff. The move is part of a wider strategy to increase its presence in the UK market. Additionally, the company encourages staff to apply for English citizenship, as a means of improving communication and increasing sales opportunities.
In 2021, the UK will leave the EU after more than 40 years of being part of the European Union. This will inevitably cause economic uncertainty, with many fearing job losses. For businesses, especially those who export goods and services to the EU, this could mean a significant decrease in consumer demand. But for those hoping to expand into the UK market, the opportunity to do business is likely to rise as a result of the uncertainty.
7-Eleven On The Stock Exchange
In 2021, Seven-Eleven becomes the first foreign company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE allows small and medium-sized businesses to grow their reach and connect with investors, both domestic and foreign. It’s an opportunity for Seven-Eleven to attract institutional investment and expand its business globally.
The brand is also expanding into Europe through a merger with International Business Machines (IBM). This will allow the company to take advantage of the digital transformation taking place across the continent. The combined company is expected to have over 300,000 employees, making it one of the largest employers in the world. It will also have a market capitalisation of over £100 billion; in other words, it’s a big deal.
In the next year, 7-Eleven’s share price will rise as the company grows its presence in the UK and internationally. It’s still a highly profitable business, with a profit margin of over 20%.