Report: 7-Eleven to add 550 stores during next three years

New York City 7-Eleven will add more than 75 stores in North Texas during the next three years as part of a nationwide fast-track plan fueled by opportunities created by the downturn in the commercial real estate market, The Dallas Business Journal reported.

The chain will add 550 stores nationwide and about 4,000 worldwide during the same period, CEO Joe DePinto said in the report.

"We've really positioned ourselves for this," DePinto told the newspaper. "We have a strong balance sheet, real estate values are down and a lot of other retailers aren't growing right now, so there's a lot of real estate available that would have been cost-prohibitive in the past."

The new North Texas stores will be built in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties, with new-store investment valued at about $50 million through 2001. The retailer has 266 stores in the area now.

7-Eleven has increased its real estate staff in Texas and hired CB Richard Ellis as its local brokerage. This is the first time the company has used an exclusive broker for its expansion plans.