A body of 7-Eleven franchisees are not happy with digital promotions run in the 7Rewards mobile program such as store brand $1 coffees and $.49 Slurpees, saying the digital promotions aren’t driving foot traffic and are hurting franchisees. In turn, they want a voice with the promotions.
The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF), based in San Antonio, is requesting that they have a say in pricing of promotions available to 7Rewards mobile rewards users, much like they’re granted control over the pricing inside the stores they own. Currently, the mobile promotions fall under different rules and franchisees can be bypassed with any decision made on the cost of digital promotions.
“7-Eleven’s franchisee council, the NBLC, is told in advance about digital promotions, but they are not an elected body and have no independence from the brand to push back,” said Jay Singh, NCASEF chairman and a Texas franchise owner. “Our association represents the interests of all franchisees and should be included in the discussion about how promotional items are priced through the app and how money from the ad fund is being allocated.”
Most product promotions are paid by vendors but the store branded coffees and infamous Slurpee are proprietary promotions and the costs are borne by franchisees.
7-Eleven Corp., Irving, Texas, is undergoing a massive growth strategy, aiming to have 20,000 stores in the United States by 2027, and the 7Rewards mobile platform and its 7NOW delivery app are big features for the retailer. In fact, the company recently announced that it hit a milestone mark of 25 million loyalty members.
“We are concerned that 7-Eleven is relying on digital promotions at the expense of traditional advertising and marketing that is proven to drive business to our stores,” said NCASEF Executive Vice Chairman Michael Jorgensen, a Florida franchisee. “The high-level numbers the company provides us do not offer a transparent view into how our ad money is being spent. Most other franchisors include elected franchisees in decisions involving the money they contribute to their national ad fund. It’s time 7-Eleven did the same.”