The Story of 7-Eleven


Julian Barron, Staff Writer

We have nine 7-Eleven stores in Lindenhurst, and many in the community frequent this incredibly convenient shop. But, do you know the extremely interesting origin story of 7-Eleven.

7-Eleven has more than 60,000 stores, mostly in North America and Asia. 7-Eleven was founded in 1927, and its roots come from Dallas, Texas. Several icehouse companies– companies that sold ice blocks to preserve food for people that didn’t have refrigerators– merged to make Southland Ice Company. One of the stores began to sell food, and Southland moved to general retail. The Company adopted “Tote’m Storesas” an invitation to customers to “tote” their purchases away.

During the Great Depression the company went through bankruptcy. 7-Eleven came out of the depression with a new focus on food and drinks especially after prohibition ended in 1933.

In 1946, the stores were named what we know them as today 7-Eleven. This was to call attention to the store’s hours 7:00am to 11:00pm, seven days a week.

In the late 1950’s 7-Eleven started to expand past the Texas borders. The company set its sights on the east coast. They continued to expand throughout the 1960 and even outside the US.

By the 1970s, 7-Eleven bought other companies such as Chief Auto Parts. Because 7-Eleven had many gas stations, they bought CITGO Petroleum as a supplier.

In the 1980s, the company got into some trouble. There was a threat of a hostile takeover, so the Thompson family bought a bunch of shares of the company in order to retain control. However, they had to sell a lot of subsidiaries, including Chief Auto Parts. The company went bankrupt for the second time, so they sold the rest of the half of the shares of CITGO.

The company then ended up with 70% of its stock owned by a Japanese company Ito-Yokado Co. In 1999 Southland Corp. became 7-Eleven Inc.

The company continued to expand in 2003 the 25,000th store was open, giving us the 7-Eleven we know and love today.