7-Eleven Franchisees Shaken By Scandals

Franchisees of 7-Eleven have had a rough time of it this summer. First the convenience-store giant was accused in court of trying to drive some less-profitable franchisees out of business so 7-Eleven could resell the franchises, then the chain sued one of its own franchisees for siphoning off $1 million—and in between came the immigration raid at 14 7-Eleven stores, focused on immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines who overstayed their visas and were forced to work 100 hours a week for substandard wages. The reactions of franchisees have ranged from shame ("You think, 'Why would someone even do that?'" one franchisee told Convenience Store News) to action (another franchisee said he immediately reviewed and verified his employees' I-9 forms). But most franchisees doubt the upheaval will hurt the 7-Eleven brand in the long term—and they've bet their businesses on that. Story