Happy 7/11! In 2002 (their 75th anniversary) 7-Eleven even started giving away free Slurpees to celebrate their namesake date (though only between the hours of 11am and 7pm).
7‑Eleven actually started out as Southland Ice Company in Oak Cliff, Texas, in 1927. Southland Ice soon took up general retailing, installing attention-getting Native American totem poles in front of some of its stores and adopting the name Tote’m Stores, which served as a punning invitation to customers to “tote” their purchases away.
Joe C. Thompson, Sr. (the person rumored to be responsible for the original retailing from an ice house) became president of Southland Ice in 1931. Almost two decades later, in 1946, with the stores being open from 7 am to 11 pm, the name was changed to 7‑Eleven.
7‑Eleven expanded into Canada in 1969 and Mexico in 1971 as part of joint ventures. Stores also started staying open 24 hours in 1971. In 1974, 7‑Eleven expanded to Japan with Seven-Eleven Japan, which became the parent company in November 2005 (though the company is still headquartered in Dallas, Texas). Since then, 7‑Eleven has opened stores in Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Vietnam and UAE through Area License and Master Franchise Agreements.
7-Eleven, Inc. is the largest convenience retail chain in the world. In 2015, 7‑Eleven opened one store every 2.5 hours. 7‑Eleven continues growing worldwide by opening stores that are close and convenient for every customer, everywhere, opening its 60,000th store in 2016. The first 7‑Eleven store in Vietnam opened in Spring 2017, which expanded the company’s operations to 18 countries.