Every year, 7-Eleven Inc. (SEI) holds a convention and trade show, which it says is a “chance to recognize and celebrate our franchisees.”
The “7-Eleven Experience” reportedly delivers millions to the company’s bottom line by putting hundreds of vendors in front of its franchisee community, according to the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF), an independent organization which speaks for the 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Associations (FOAs). But franchisee leaders say they will not be attending the next event. They’re skipping it to “send a clear message that SEI was wrong to cut off communications with its franchisees.”
The presidents of all 43 FOAs, which represent the interests of nearly 7,000 franchised locations in the U.S., voted unanimously to skip the 7-Eleven Experience during a recent NCASEF board meeting.
“Our FOA representatives spoke loud and clear and the coalition listened. They voted to urge members to stay away from the 7-Eleven Experience, and now the coalition wants to deliver that message to all,” said Rehan Hashmi, vice chairman of NCASEF. “The relationship between SEI and its franchisees is no longer evenhanded, and that is hurting our members and their livelihood.”
According to Hashmi, SEI closed its regular channels of communication after franchisees in California filed a federal lawsuit against SEI last month.
“If SEI truly wants to recognize and celebrate its franchisees, as the marketers of the 7-Eleven Experience claim, it shouldn’t cut off communications. Franchise owners have invested their lives in this brand and we want to prosper, but we can’t if our relationship with SEI remains one-sided,” he said.
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