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7-Eleven Crackdown Ousts Veteran Franchise Owners in Wicker, Lincoln Park

7-Eleven Human Trafficking7-Eleven Crackdown Ousts Veteran Franchise Owners in Wicker, Lincoln Park

WICKER PARK — Discord between the nation’s largest convenience store chain and its franchisees has hit Chicago, with 7-Eleven taking over a number of stores from the owners, in some cases for allegedly selling non-approved items.

One local operator said he was forced to relinquish ownership of four 7-Elevens in Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Boystown and Lincoln Square. Another franchisee said the Dallas-based company took over his stores in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Jefferson Park and Portage Park.

Franchisee Jay Rawal said 7-Eleven officials cleared his store’s shelves on Friday of “the stuff they didn’t want me to be selling,” and security guards emptied his files into black trash bags, which they gave back to him.

Rawal said he was ousted by 7-Eleven because officials alleged he “wasn’t running operation according to standards.”

“They said I can come back to 7-Eleven as a customer but not as an owner-operator,” the 46-year-old Rawal said.

Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based 7-Eleven issued a statement late Tuesday.

“7-Eleven, Inc. has terminated the franchises at those locations because the franchisees violated the terms of our franchise agreement. As a result, we assumed control these Chicago-area stores, and they are now open and operating under the management of 7-Eleven, Inc,” Chabris said.

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