In the U.S., many 7-Eleven locations used to have filling stations with gasoline distributed by Citgo, which in 1983 was purchased by Southland Corporation. 50% of Citgo was sold in 1986 to Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., and the remaining 50% was acquired in 1990. Although Citgo was the predominant partner of 7-Eleven, other oil companies are also co-branded with 7-Eleven, including Fina, Exxon, Gulf, Marathon, BP, Shell, Chevron (some former TETCO convenience stores were co-branded with Chevron, and Texaco prior to the 7-Eleven purchase in late 2012), and Pennzoil. Conoco is the largest 7-Eleven licensee in North America.
7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma have operated independently since 1953 under an agreement with William Brown. It is now led by his son, James Brown. As part of this franchise agreement, 7-Elevens in Oklahoma bear slight differences to stores elsewhere: for instance, products such as Big Bite hot dogs are not sold there, the Slurpee is branded as the "Icy Drink", and Oklahoma stores operate their own loyalty program called "Thx!", which does not intersect with the national 7Rewards system. As of December 2018, there are currently 7,854 stores in the country.
7-Eleven Inc. is a Japanese-American international chain of convenience stores, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The chain was founded in 1927 as Tote'm Stores until it was renamed in 1946. Its parent company since 2005, Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd., operates, franchises, and licenses 68,236 stores in 17 countries as of June 2019. Seven-Eleven Japan is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo and held by Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd..
In 1946, in an effort to continue the company's post-war recovery, the name of the franchise was changed to 7-Eleven to reflect the stores' new hours of operation (7 am to 11 pm), which were unprecedented at the time. In 1963, 7-Eleven experimented with a 24-hour schedule in Austin, Texas, after an Austin store stayed open all night to satisfy customer demand. Later on, 24-hour stores were established in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas, as well as Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1971, Southland acquired convenience stores of the former Pak-A-Sak chain owned by Graham Allen Penniman, Sr. (1903–1985), of Shreveport, Louisiana.
In 2009, a 7-Eleven location in Quarry Bay opened with a hot food counter, called "7 Café", selling traditional Hong Kong street food and milk tea. This feature was subsequently extended to select other 7-Eleven locations across Hong Kong under the "Daily Café" and "Hot Shot" brands.
In 2008, 7-Eleven announced plans to expand its business in Indonesia through a master franchise agreement with Modern Sevel Indonesia and Media Nusantara Citra. Modern Sevel Indonesia's initial plans were to focus on opening stores in Jakarta, targeting densely populated commercial and business areas. There are 190 7-Eleven stores in Indonesia and it has reduced to only 166 stores as September 2016.
The first European 7-Eleven store was opened in Stockholm, Sweden in 1978. 7-Eleven was available in Spain until 2000 with many stores inside Repsol petrol stations, as well as some other petrol-stations across the country. 7-Eleven stores are now solely located in the Scandinavian region of Europe.
7-Eleven entered the Turkish market in 1989, opening its first store on 12 September 1989. Major stakeholder of the master franchise, Özer Çiller sold his shares in 1993, after his wife Tansu Çiller became the Prime Minister. In the 2010s, 7-Eleven left the Turkish market, transferring most of its stores to franchise owners.
In Mexico, the first 7-Eleven store opened in 1971 in Monterrey in association with Grupo Chapa (now Iconn) and 7-Eleven, Inc. under the name Super 7. In 1995, Super 7 was renamed to 7-Eleven, which now has 1,835 stores in several areas of the country. When stores are located within classically designed buildings (such as in Centro Histórico buildings) or important landmarks, the storefront logo is displayed in monochrome with gold or silver lettering. The main competitors in Mexico are OXXO (Femsa), Super City (Soriana), and Farmacias Guadalajara, among others.
Octopus card readers were introduced in all 7-Eleven stores in July 1999, although at first these could only be used to add value to the card. In September 2004, the number of locations in Hong Kong was substantially boosted when Dairy Farm acquired Daily Stop, a rival convenience store chain, from SCMP Retailing (HK). The chain's 84 shops, located mainly in MTR and Kowloon–Canton Railway stations (as well as shopping centres and housing estates), were converted to 7-Eleven stores.
In March 2016, 7-Eleven acquired 148 Imperial Oil-owned Esso gas stations in Alberta and British Columbia for C$2.8 billion. Most of their convenience stores were converted to 7-Eleven stores, and they remain supplied by Esso. Some locations were not immediately converted to 7-Eleven, and instead operate under the transitional banner "smartstop 24/7" with their existing store formats, typically inherited from the previous On the Run chain.
In August 2015, Fairfax Media and the ABC's Four Corners programme reported on the employment practices of certain 7-Eleven franchisees in Australia. The investigation found that many 7-Eleven employees were being underpaid at rates of around A$10 to A$14 per hour before tax, well under the legally-required minimum award rate of A$24.69 per hour.
The Reitan Group has held the license in Sweden since December 1997. In the mid-1990s period, 7-Eleven in Sweden received adverse publicity due to the unfavourable labour contracts offered by its then-licensee, Small Shops, an American-based company, resulting in many stores being sold and closed down. For a time, there were only 7-Elevens in Stockholm and Gothenburg.
7-Eleven first opened in Hong Kong in 1981, when it was a British colony. , it operates as a subsidiary of the Dairy Farm. It is popularly called tsat jai (, meaning "little seven") or se fun (, based on the English "seven"). As of 2012, 7-Eleven had 964 stores in Hong Kong, of which 563 were operated by franchisees. Hong Kong reportedly has the second-highest density of 7-Eleven stores, after Macao. All 7-Eleven stores in Hong Kong accept the ubiquitous Octopus card as a method of payment. They also accept payments for utility bills and public housing rent.
The first 7-Eleven store in Norway was opened at Grünerløkka in Oslo on September 13, 1986. As of January 2018, there are 153 7-Eleven stores in Norway, more than 50% located in Oslo. Norway has the northernmost 7-Eleven in the world, situated in Tromsø. On a per-capita basis, Norway has one 7–Eleven store for every 47,000 Norwegians, compared to Canada, which has one for every 74,000 Canadians.
Southland exited bankruptcy in March 1991, after a cash infusion of $430 million from Ito-Yokado and Seven-Eleven Japan. These two Japanese entities now controlled 70% of the company, with the founding Thompson family retaining 5%. In 1999, Southland Corp. changed its name to 7-Eleven, Inc., citing the divestment of operations other than 7-Eleven. Ito-Yokado formed Seven & I Holdings Co. and 7-Eleven became its subsidiary in 2005. In 2007, Seven & I Holdings announced that it would be expanding its American operations, with an additional 1,000 7-Eleven stores in the United States.
7-Eleven stores in Australia sell a wide range of items, including daily newspapers, drinks, confectionery, and snack foods. They sell gift cards, including three types of pre-paid Visa cards. The chain has partnered with BankWest, placing a BankWest ATM in each of their stores nationwide. Each year on November 7, 7-Eleven promotes "7-Eleven Day" by giving away a free Slurpee to customers.
The first 7-Eleven in Australia opened on August 24, 1977, in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh, Victoria. The majority of stores are located in metropolitan areas, particularly in central business district areas. Stores in suburban areas often operate as petrol stations and most are owned and operated as franchises, with a central administration. 7-Eleven bought Mobil's remaining Australian petrol stations in 2010, converting them to 7-Eleven outlets, resulting in an immediate and unprecedented overnight major expansion of the brand. In South Australia all Mobil petrol stations were sold to Peregrine Corporation and branded as On the Run petrol stations.
With the purchase in 1964 of 126 Speedee Mart franchised convenience stores in California, the company entered the franchise business. The company signed its first area licensing agreement in 1968 with Garb-Ko, Inc. of Saginaw, Michigan, which became the first U.S. domestic area 7-Eleven licensee.
The company's first outlets were named "Tote'm Stores" because customers "toted" away their purchases. Some stores featured genuine Alaskan totem poles in front of the store. In 1946, the chain's name was changed from "Tote'm" to "7-Eleven" to reflect the company's new, extended hours, 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, seven days per week. In November 1999, the corporate name of the US company was changed from "The Southland Corporation" to "7-Eleven Inc."