New York - 7-11 Plans To Open 100 Stores In Manhattan
New York - 7-Eleven is taking Manhattan by storm. The Dallas-based convenience store operator recently opened two outposts in Murray Hill and has signed leases for another two locations elsewhere in the borough.
“We are actively looking,” said Margaret Chabris, public relations director for 83-year-old 7-Eleven Inc., noting that New York is a key growth market. The company, which has several additional leases out for negotiation in Manhattan, is also moving onto college campuses and airports. It opened its first airport store at Newark Liberty International Airport last year.
By the end of 2012, 7-Eleven plans to have between 15 and 20 Manhattan locations, according to real estate sources. In the next five years, the company aims to operate 100 outposts here.
“There are more attractive locations available now than there were in the past, and this is due to the recession,” Ms. Chabris said. “A lot of small businesses are having a tough time growing, or some of them aren’t able to renew leases.”
7-Eleven, which is a subsidiary of the Japan-based Seven & i Holdings Co., currently has only 10 Manhattan locations, including two that opened in December on East 28th and East 21st streets. It recently signed leases for 2,600 square feet at 1412 First Ave. and 2,000 square feet at 333 E. 23rd St. Both deals carried asking rents near $125 a square foot, according to Ariel Schuster, the Robert K. Futterman & Associates broker who represented 7-Eleven.
Part of the company’s new strategy involves a small-business conversion program where existing mom-and-pop stores, convenience shops or bodegas transition their businesses into 7-Eleven franchise locations. Each outpost costs approximately $250,000 to remodel.
“The key to their expansion is they’re building their brand,” Mr. Schuster said. “Manhattanites didn’t really know about them yet, but around the country, like on Long Island, 7-Eleven is known.” He added that the brand has a strong balance sheet and good credit, so landlords are more willing to take 7-Eleven on as a tenant. So far, the company has replaced old delis and DVD stores, and even a former Starbucks on Third Avenue.
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