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The mega-franchisor 7-Eleven notes on its website that it has dozens of franchise units spanning the state of Ohio, which is also similarly the case in other states across the country. Many people asked to cite an example of franchising success in the United States might reasonably point to 7-Eleven.

Despite the company’s long and proud history, though, there are some cracks in its armor these days that are both notable and progressively increasing.

We know something about franchising challenges and opportunities at the business law firm of Gottschlich & Portune in Dayton, being an established go-to legal office for franchisors and franchisees alike. We underscore on our website that we provide proven legal help to industry players “in every kind of franchise,” being intimately familiar with “the legal challenges you can expect.”

It is challenge that now distinctly faces 7-Eleven on both sides of the franchising equation. A New York Times article recently reports that there is a mass rumbling from franchisees in every corner of the country alleging that the company’s business model is increasingly stifling local store profits. Franchise operators contend additionally that top-down directives often force them into unwise and unprofitable decisions concerning vendor selection and the products put on store shelves.

And this, too, is a real sore point for franchisees: Reportedly, and as noted by the Times, franchise management “is forcing a new contract on them” that mandates a renewal payment of $50,000 in take-it-or-get-out fashion.

Palpable tensions point reasonably toward an exit for many franchisees in the foreseeable future. We’ll keep an eye on material developments for readers.