High Anxiety as 7-Eleven Takes Aim at Bodegas

7-Eleven opened a new store at 142 Delancey Street last week.

The Wall Street Journal this week takes a look at 7-Eleven’s conquest of New York City, noting that some bodega owners feel threatened by the big chain that boasts more than 47,000 locations worldwide.  The company is planning to open 30 new stores in the city during the next five years (there are already 100 or so 7-Eleven’s in the five boroughs).  As we indicated last Thursday, a new outlet just opened at 142 Delancey Street.  Another store is coming to 403 Grand Street.

The Center for an Urban Future is about to release its annual report tracking chain stores in the city.  The survey will show that 7-Eleven is the 15th largest chain in New York (it was 26th largest in 2008).  The chain has been aggressively wooing bodega owners, trying to cajole them into converting their small businesses to 7-Eleven franchises.  Recently officials from the company met with members of the Bodega Association of the U.S.  Association President Ramon Murphy told the Journal, “The main thing is, let’s educate our members, let’s be prepared for competition. If you want to be 7-Eleven, great. You don’t want it, I’ll help you, too. We want to keep the bodega in New York.”

Residents Urge Seward Park Board to Reject 7-Eleven

403 Grand Street.

The residents of the Seward Park Cooperative are getting riled up again! As we reported the other day, the co-op board is re-considering a proposal from 7-Eleven to take over a large space once occupied by the Grand Spa at 403 Grand Street.

When the plan first became public in the spring, residents mobilized, organized a petition drive and began searching for alternative tenants. They managed to find a business, Tribeca Pediatrics, for a smaller storefront, but for one reason or another none of the prospects (including a small grocery store) has panned out for the larger space. In advance of tomorrow night’s board of directors meeting in which the 7-Eleven offer is once again on the table, residents are making their voices heard.