There’s been nearly a century now since the convenience store chain 7-Eleven has charmed its customers with the famous Big Gulps, Slurpees, and other beverages. If you didn’t know by now, the name of the store chain comes from its original operating hours: from 7 am to 11 pm (in 1946).
Worldwide, the number of 7-Eleven stores outnumbered the number of McDonald’s restaurants. But having this much success isn’t always so easy, so because of that, there have been times when the company got involved in difficult situations. If you’re more curious about it, take a look at 11 times when the company had to face controversy.
- 7-Eleven vs. Japanese Franchises – In 2019, 7-Eleven franchisee Mitoshi Matsumoto decided to change working hours in his location in Osaka, Japan, from 24 hours to 6 am to 1 am. The 7-Eleven company initiated a court battle with Matsumoto over control of the store, and the feud went further than it should have.
- 7-Eleven got involved in a charity 3-D glasses fiasco – In 1982, the 7-Eleven locations in Montana were selling 3-D glasses for a movie shown on local television. According to Easter Seal Society, the movie was shown so the profits from selling the 50-cent glasses could be directed to the Society. Unfortunately, the 7-Eleven company was not one of the participating retailers, so they kept all the profits for themselves(they donated it later to a charity)
- Online rumors because of a 7-Eleven sandwich – In 2020, the company was accused it offered to customers a misleading sandwich. The critics called it a “paper tiger sandwich”
- 7-Eleven vs. a rival convenience store – In 2019, 7-Eleven sued Quick E Mart for trademark infringement. The case’ resolution has yet to be announced.
- 7-Eleven was criticized for deceptive packaging in Japan – In Japan, there was a famous drink (milk mixed with strawberry or banana flavoring) that stirred some criticism, because the design of the cup was somehow misleading.
- 7-Eleven and the rule of 10-inch cutout – In 2015, the chain offered to fill up containers brought by customers for only $1.50. After receiving customers with kiddie pools and toilet bowls, they made a rule where they’d only accept containers that had to fit in a 10-inch cutout.
- 7-Eleven had to endure ICE raids – In 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stormed 98 locations of the famous company, in what was considered to be an organized raid on undocumented workers. 21 people were arrested.
- 7-Eleven vs. a Big Gulp ban – At some point, the state of California tried to reduce the consumption of soft drinks, by introducing a ban on sales of large unsealed sodas in excess of 16 ounces. As expected, the company argued with this decision, claiming it would be better to teach diet education than to introduce drink bans.
- 7-Eleven was caught up in an Australian wage theft scheme – In 2015, there was an investigative report that claimed how 7-Eleven managers in Australia were cutting the pay of international student workers in half and threatening them with deportation if they complained.
- A 7-Eleven employee was assault by Slurpee – In 2020, a customer was arrested in Pinellas Park, Florida, for slapping a Slurpee out of an employee’s hand.
- 7-Eleven was at some point too dirty for some customers – In 1984, the National Federation for Decency posted at the 7-Eleven locations signs reading “Slurpees yes, porno no”, due to the chain’s distribution of “Playboy” magazine.
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