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7-Eleven (US) Plans to Franchise in India

05 Oct 2021 - 7-Eleven Inc., the world’s largest convenience store chain, remains confident about the prospects of the Indian market and hopes to make a market entry in the “near future", it said in a statement after calling off its agreement with home-grown Future Retail.

On Tuesday, Future Retail Ltd and 7-Eleven, mutually terminated an agreement to open small-format shops across India’s top cities without opening a single store.

“7-Eleven, Inc. and a subsidiary of Future Retail Ltd. have mutually agreed to end their master franchise relationship. 7-Eleven remains confident in the Indian market and hopes to enter the market in the near future," 7-Eleven Inc., said in response to a query from Mint.

The retail chain that operates, franchises and licenses more than 77,000 stores in 17 countries—did not disclose whether it is actively in discussions with a local partner for its India entry. Its stores sell packaged foods, beverages, small personal care goods and other items of daily use.

Headquartered in the US, the chain is owned by a Japanese firm.

Future Retail said the termination of the over two-year-old master franchise agreement was with “mutual consent" as Future7-India Convenience Ltd could not meet store opening targets and pay franchisee fees.

“No financial or business impact on the company as this arrangement was at the subsidiary company level," it said.

In February 2019, Future Retail signed a master franchise agreement with 7-Eleven to develop and operate convenience stores in India. It had eventually proposed to open its maiden store in India in early 2020. The pandemic delayed the retailer’s plans to open stores in India. No store was eventually opened.

The termination comes as a distressed Future Group sold off its retail, wholesale and other assets to Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd to pay down its debt. The deal is however stuck in a legal tussle between Future Group and online retailer Amazon.