Home > PUM One on One: Dorian Cunion, Zone Vice President, 7-Eleven

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PUM One on One: Dorian Cunion,
Zone Vice President, 7-Eleven

Franchising Opportunities at 7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store and a top-franchisor.

 

About Mr. Dorian Cunion: Operation Leader for 730 stores over 5 states. Responsible for team of 8 Market Managers tasked with ensuring best in class retail experience for customers. Prior to this role, Mr. Cunion held roles in Franchise Sale and Franchise Relations. Additionally, Mr. Cunion also held the position of Market Manager with P&L responsibility for 110 stores in the Baltimore Metro area, District Manager, and Store Manager. 

 

PUM: As, Zone Vice President, one of your important responsibilities is overseeing Managers that are tasked with ensuring the best in class retail experience for 7-Eleven customers. Describe how 7-Eleven is committed to providing the best experience for its customers, what mechanisms are in place to create this experience?

Dorian: 7-Eleven has been in business for over 90 years. We have always focused on providing customers with what they want, when they want it.  

PUM: With over 9,000 stores in the U.S., we have a strong network of store operators that are constantly adjusting, regionalizing and localizing their product assortment to meet the growing needs of the customers in their respective neighborhoods. We also know the importance of cleanliness and excellent customer service.

Dorian: To help our Franchisees identify opportunities, we have established a customer experience visit, utilizing a third-party company that visits our stores and provides franchise owners with feedback from a customer’s perspective.

PUM: What sort of Franchise Candidates are ideal for the various programs offered at 7-Eleven?

Dorian: 7 Eleven is always looking for prospective franchise owners who possess the ideal mix of personal qualities, professional experience and financial standing to successfully operate a 7 Eleven franchise. Qualified multi-unit Franchisees will:

       Have U.S. citizenship (or permanent residency) and be at least 21 years old

       Have a college degree or equivalent work experience

       Pass a comprehensive background check

       Not have any other business interests that, in the opinion of 7-Eleven, might jeopardize their opportunity to successfully implement the 7-Eleven business concept

       Have 5-10 years of multi-unit management experience, preferably in convenience, retail or restaurant industries 

PUM: The best Franchise Candidates have a mix of entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to meet and exceed 7-Eleven brand standards. The 7-Eleven business model is valuable because it leverages the collective wisdom of 7-Eleven franchisees, corporate employees, and vendors to develop brand standards and a valuable Store Operations Manual. 

Dorian: This manual provides Franchisees with a proven framework for running a clean, well-organized and customer-focused convenience store business. The entrepreneurial spirit is important because retail is constantly changing, and we are at our best when our Franchisees are innovating and introducing new ways of satisfying customers.

PUM: Speaking of programs that attract Franchise Candidates, what makes 7-Eleven exceptional in what it offers potential store owners? 

Dorian: The support we provide Franchisees differentiates us from other franchisors in the market place. 7-Eleven is a large organization, with in-house experts in real state, merchandising, store operations and more that are all focused on building great stores and supporting franchisees in the operation of their businesses. 

We share a common goal of profitable growth for each Franchisee.  In most systems, Franchisors apply a royalty on sales; 7-Eleven shares only in gross profits.

Lastly, additional value comes from the relationship we build with our individual Franchisees. Field Consultants visit stores weekly, with support ready to respond all the way up the chain. We are there every step of the way to help Franchisees maximize their profits.

PUM: What are some of the support systems in place to help potential Franchise Candidates succeed?

Dorian: The two major support systems we have in place are IT and Field Consultants. Our IT system makes it easy for Franchisees to manage every aspect of their business.  Whether it is keeping track of inventory levels, tracking sales, or placing orders, our system provides the data needed for Franchisees to maximize their profits. We also provide Field Consultants that meet with the Franchisee weekly to discuss how they can grow their business and better satisfy their customers.

PUM: At the forefront of 7-Eleven's business are the communities in which you operate. Tell us more about how you connect with the various communities.

Dorian: As an organization, we join with numerous businesses and community groups, with a special focus on the military and programs that support children. We employ a large number of veterans, which we see as a key aspect of our company’s character.   

In addition, we join with local schools and organizations in the community that support the needs of children.  Project A-Game is a community outreach program created to provide meaningful youth development opportunities that. Franchisees can apply for jointly funded grants to support local schools, youth sports organizations, law enforcement agencies and community organizations.  

Our Operation Chill program is designed to reduce crime and enhance relations between police and youth. We provide local law enforcement officers with Slurpee coupons that they can use to “ticket” kids they observe exhibiting positive behavior that can be used at participating stores.

PUM: 7-Eleven is a leader when it comes to innovation and technology in the retail space. Tellus more about the platforms/programs offered to Franchisees to help them run their businesses more efficiently.

Dorian: We are constantly looking for new and exciting experiences to provide franchisees to offer their customers that drive them into their stores.

One of the most exciting innovations in our toolkit is 7NOW, our proprietary delivery app. Pittsburgh is one of the markets with this delivery platform which enables customers to get most of their favorite convenience items delivered to them in about 30 minutes or less. This has the potential to be a real game changer. We are the only one in the marketplace where you can order a wide assortment of items from a case of beer, with a bag of chips, a pizza, and home goods straight to where ever you are.

Our 7REWARDS loyalty program housed in the 7-Eleven app also offers an advantage to franchisees and their customers. Customers can earn points on various products in store and redeem those points for more items. Not only that, but customers can engage in various AR experiences in the app that enable them to score even more points. One of the best features of the app is that customers can leave a compliment, a request, or a complaint. The app is helping to generate higher levels of customer loyalty – it rewards customers for their purchases and provides an easy and quick way to tell us how we are doing.

PUM: 7‑Eleven introduced the world to the Slurpee® drink, Big Gulp®, Big Bite® and a truckload of other proprietary products and services. There is a relentless dedication and pursuit of new ways to help Franchisees connect to customers.  What are some innovations 7-Eleven offers franchisees to better serve their customers? 

Dorian: On top of the 7NOW delivery app and 7REWARDS loyalty program, we provide franchisees with a variety of exceptional products to offer their customers.

Our private brand business continues to grow with items customers cannot find anywhere else. These exclusive, valuable products offer customers with what they want such as Organic Cold Pressed Juices, Grilled Chicken Skewers, Protein Cookies, and Flavored Sparkling Waters.

In addition, we are enhancing and adding to our core product offering. We are offering improved quality of core products & new platforms.

We will continue to research, develop, and innovate to provide franchisees with the best products, experiences and services that they can offer their customers to drive them into their stores.

To Learn More about Franchise Opportunities in Western PA Click Here

 

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