Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 34

cover story

A

sk 7-Eleven Inc. CEO Joseph DePinto
what the future of convenience retailing looks like and he'll reach into his
pocket and pull out his smartphone.
"Click-and-collect, on-demand
delivery, frictionless payment, the now factor. Our
opportunity is to connect the digital to the physical
store locations," he said. "The KPI [key performance
indicator] for today's consumers is how quickly can it
be at my door. People call it 'the last mile.' I call it 'the
last block.'"

felt there was a lot of power in the individual operator,
the entrepreneur," DePinto said.
Back in 2005, 7-Eleven also had had success and
became set in its ways. "We forgot who we were, and
that is an organization that supports our stores and
our franchisees," he noted.
Applying his experience from the military, including his education at the U.S. Military Academy at
West Point, DePinto instituted a companywide cultural
change called "servant leadership." This remains the
foundation at 7-Eleven and is the guiding principle in

OPERATION:

VISIONARY

7-Eleven CEO Joseph DePinto is in command of convenience retailing's future
By Linda Lisanti & Don Longo
As the largest convenience store retailer in the
nation with 5,400 7-Eleven stores in the United States
currently and an acquisition in the works that will
increase that figure to 10,000 stores next year, Irving,
Texas-based 7-Eleven is uniquely positioned to unite
the brick-and-mortar world to the digital world, as
DePinto sees it.
"I'm very excited and bullish for the future," this
year's Convenience Store News Hall of Fame retailer
inductee said. "Consumers are changing as fast as I've
ever seen them change. They want now, simple, easy.
They're completely redefining what 'convenience' is."
Change is something DePinto knows a lot about.
When he was appointed chief executive of 7-Eleven in
2005, "bullish" is not a word he would have used to
describe the business. Back then, the company had a
lot of debt and because of that, it couldn't be flexible,
he recalled.
The decision was made to franchise 7-Eleven and
use those funds to pay down the debt. At the time, the
company was 50 percent corporate-operated and 50
percent franchise-operated. Today, the balance is 80
percent franchise and 20 percent corporate. "I always

34 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

how DePinto leads.
"Everyone thinks the military is all about top
down, but the military is really built around support.
The leaders support everybody else," he explained.
"My job is to support our franchisees and those who
support them."
Today, 12 years later, DePinto says 7-Eleven has
cleaned up its balance sheet and is "on great financial footing." He characterizes the business as "very
strong," and he's proud of the servant leadership culture that's been instilled. "While it's never perfect, I
look back now and say, 'Man, we've made substantial
change,'" he told CSNews in an exclusive interview.
TEAM PLAYER

DePinto, who came to 7-Eleven after stints at
GameStop Corp., PepsiCo Inc. and Thornton Oil
Co., is the fourth 7-Eleven executive to be inducted
into the CSNews Hall of Fame. His predecessor, former CEO James Keyes, was inducted in 2005, and
7-Eleven founders John and Jere Thompson were
inducted in 1991.
"Honored and humbled" is how DePinto describes


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Convenience Store News - December 2017

Contents
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover1
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover2
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 3
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 4
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 5
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Contents
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 7
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 8
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 9
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 10
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Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 12
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Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover3
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Convenience Store News - December 2017 - U1
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