After opening 318 new stores in 2017, Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC), the exclusive local licensor of global C-store chain 7-Eleven, announced it was stepping up its momentum with more strategic franchising initiatives as part of its aggressive expansion plan.
As it embarks for long-term profitability and strong leadership this 2018, PSC, with a C-store fleet now pegged at 2,285, is targeting to open 375 new stores in various strategic locations this fiscal year.
Areas up for expansion include Region 2 (namely Isabela, Tuguegarao, Nueva Vizcaya and also Mindoro). For Visayas, PSC will be starting expansion in Leyte, Tacloban, and the rest of Eastern Visayas. In Mindanao, the company is planning to open stores in Surigao Del Sur and Norte and Sultan Kudarat.
“This year’s plan for Visayas and Mindanao is to open 75% franchise stores. Also, we have formulated a new franchise offer, the FC3, which is a lower investment compared to our existing franchise package. From R3.5 to R5-million investment, we came up with the new franchise package which is around less than half a million,” revealed Francis Medina, Business Development Unit Head.
Via the FC3 package, the company is targeting to have “a franchise ratio from 54% to 60%.”
“Our FC ratio is still more than half of our total stores. As of 2017, we already started converting some of our company-owned stores to franchise-owned. This year, we are planning to fully launch the FC3 to the public and we are expecting a heavy traffic of inquiries from there. The new program requires a full time store operator that will be hands on with store operations. Also, applicants will undergo 3-5 months of operations training,” he further stated.
According to Medina, the company’s successful finish in 2017 was due to consolidated efforts and solid execution of strategies.
Increased efficiency and constant elevation of customer shopping experiences through great value product choices and service offerings also account for 7-Eleven’s progress in the market. Another accomplishment of the company, he added, is its milestone partnership which resulted to a 100th store under Chevron-Caltex station.
“We touch base areas where our competitors are not present yet. We tie up with logistical companies especially now that we are going into islands. Also, forging partnerships with institutional accounts and developers is a must,” said Medina.
Taken altogether, Medina said these factors have produced profitable bottom-line results for PSC.
“Despite the competition with other C-stores opening, we still managed to continue expanding into new territories, study new areas with potential for C-store concept. The company’s focus in 2017 was on aggressive expansion nationwide, especially Visayas and Mindanao. For this year, we were already able to open our first store in Bohol located in Panglao. It was opened last May,” Medina stated.
Given the new challenges brought forth by the newly-implemented Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law and competition with existing and new C-store market players, PSC is confident that, through continuous product innovation and new partnerships, 7-Eleven will continue to attract prospective partners.
“We are building momentum for our business by continually innovating our products, especially our proprietary brands, and services to give greater value to our patrons and shareholders. As of now, we are looking into venturing and expanding our e-commerce usage to provide products and services to customers in the most convenient way possible. They can already use CLiQQ APP as their wallet to buy 7-Eleven products,” Medina said.
“PSC is also formulating our Store of the Future 3 design that aims to enhance the 7-Eleven store image. We are forging new partnerships for new products (we are enhancing our “Crisp Bites” products by building new satellite kitchens) and services as well. Our digital strategy enhancement of Cliqq app and e-commerce is also on our timeline,” Medina concluded.