Here we go again.
7-Eleven franchisees in Holyoke, Massachusetts are taking the corporation to court to keep their Slurpee machine and other income generating items like lottery tickets, hot dogs and gift cards. The 7-Eleven corporation revoked these services from franchisees Mohinder Grewal and Mann Grewal claiming the husband and wife had an unexplained $131,000 cigarette shortage during an 18-month period. The franchisees claim the frivolous lawsuit is the result of their refusal to stock unpopular items that didn’t sell well.
If this sounds familiar it’s because this is 7-Eleven’s go-to tactic to punish franchisees they consider subordinate. According to the Dallas Business Journal and other sources, 7-Eleven Inc. is the defendant in more than twelve lawsuits alleging that the company terminated franchise contracts without proper cause. Plaintiffs in the suits claim that 7-Eleven targeted stores in high-traffic locations, enabling the franchisor to offer the locations to new franchisees willing to pay higher fees.
Dilip Patel and his wife, Saroj, said the company used “storm trooper interrogation and isolation tactics” in such sessions. The couple, who sued in March, ultimately gave up their Riverside store, which they had run since 1995, with no compensation from 7-Eleven. It’s gotten so bad in California that The Franchise Owner’s Assn. of Greater Los Angeles was created. It represents more than 1,200 members who are accusing 7-Eleven Inc. of racial discrimination, invasion of privacy and illegal surveillance and mistreatment.
Holyoke 7-Eleven fighting to save Slurpee-selling rights in U.S. District Court [Mass Live]