A lot has happened in the thirty plus years that 7-Eleven has been operating in Australia. As of January 2012, 7-Eleven operates over 600 stores along the eastern seaboard of Australia.
7-Eleven Stores Pty. Ltd. is an Australian company privately owned by the Withers/Barlow family. The company develops and franchises 7-Eleven stores in Australia under license from 7-Eleven Inc. of Dallas, Texas.
The Beginnings of 7-Eleven
7-Eleven Inc. (formally the Southland Ice Company) pioneered the concept of convenience stores in 1927 in the USA. In addition to ice, Southland began selling groceries on weekends when other businesses were closed. The name 7-Eleven was introduced in 1947 to highlight the stores opening hours; from 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
In 1968, Southland began to license its operation across the United States, and in 1974 commenced licensing internationally with stores opening in Japan. In 2005, 7-Eleven Inc. became a subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings, a Japanese based company.
After 65 years experience in the grocery and wholesaling business, the Withers family identified that supermarket chains were growing rapidly throughout the early 1970’s, but milk bars and small grocery stores were relatively unchanged and were suffering continuous erosion. Knowing the success of convenience stores in the USA, Russell Withers went about bringing the convenience store concept to Australia. The first 7-Eleven Australia store opened in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh on the 24th August 1977.
Today there are over 38,000 7-Eleven stores operating worldwide in 16 countries.
A History of Convenience