7-Eleven: Home to the Slurpee, purveyor of unnaturally delicious treats, and 3 am toilet paper runs.
Throughout its 88-year history, the company has ingrained itself into our culture, our neighborhood, and our clogged hearts.
But what do we really know about this pervasive business?
7-Eleven began in 1927 as a roll of the dice from Southland Ice Company employee “Uncle Johnny” Jefferson Green, after he asked his company’s founder Joe C Thompson Sr., if he could sell household staples like bread and milk from their ice store.
Jefferson kept his store open during evenings and Sundays and seeing its success, Thompson Sr. later adopted this throughout all of their locations.
After a visit to Alaska, Thompson brought back a totem and set it up at one of his busier locations. The stores were later renamed “Tote’m Stores,” for both the totems that now resided at multiple locations and because customers toted their items away.
Today 7-Eleven is one of the largest franchise companies in the world with over fifty-six thousand stores in 18 countries. For reference, McDonald’s has a measly thirty-five thousand restaurants worldwide.
24/7 Brain Freeze
In 1946, all Tote’m stores became 7-Elevens to broadcast the relatively revolutionary hours: 7am-11pm. These times came about after a college football game in 1963 when an Austin store remained open until dawn. Stores began to stay open throughout the weekends and gradually established the chain’s current 24/7 convenience.
With over 14 million sold per month, the Slurpee is the most popular beverage associated with 7-Eleven. Originally marketed as the Icee in 1965, Slurpees remain so beloved that people are willing to fill rice cookers with the tongue-dyeing beverage.
Facts You Can’t Unknow
- An unsettlingly Illuminati-esque 666,000 pounds of glaze are used each month on 7-Eleven’s donuts, fritters, and other pastries.
- 7-Eleven has the largest ATM network of any US retailer.
- Most Slurpees are certified kosher because everyone should be able to enjoy their diabetes-inducing satisfaction.
- For 20 years, 7-Eleven has been giving American police departments millions of Slurpee coupons to dole out to upstanding youths during the summer.
- One out of four of you are within a mile of a 7-Eleven.
Go now! Or whenever. It’ll always be open.