7-Eleven Asset Protection Under Fire

The website UnhappyFranchisee.Com reports that the 7-Eleven Asset Protection Department is under fire.

7-ElevenThe post 7-ELEVEN Bombshell: Insider Accuses 7-11 of Predatory Franchise Practices,   states that “Former 7-Eleven Corporate Investigations Supervisor Kurt McCord has dropped a bombshell in the lawsuit of 7-Eleven, Inc. v. Karamjeet Sodhi, et. al., alleging that the convenience store giant has a covert team designed to illegally seize franchisee stores for profit and to eliminate respected franchisee association leaders they deem to be a ‘pain in the ass.'”

The “Bombshell” alluded to is the Declaration of 7-Eleven whistleblower Kurt McCord, a loss prevention professional  who served as 7-Eleven’s Corporate Investigations Supervisor for 7-Eleven, Inc. in 2013.

Read his damning tell-all statement here: Certification of Kurt McCord

Read the law firm’s complaint regarding alleged stonewalling by 7-Eleven, Inc.:  Letter to Judge Schneider

Things are really heating up in the war between 7-Eleven, Inc. and its franchisees.

It sure doesn’t look like it’s going to be subsiding anytime soon!

What do you think?  Has 7-Eleven asset protection finally gone too far?

Erwin “Erv” Keup: A Lifetime of Achievement

A Tribute to Erv Keup, author of the Franchise Bible, by Rick Grossman.

Erv Keup
Franchise industry legend Erwin "Erv" Keup

A Lifetime of Achievement: Remembering Erwin (Erv) Keup

By Rick Grossmann

When I was in college I had a small business.

I wanted to expand my business and was evaluating the different methods of business expansion when I was introduced to franchising in one of my classes. I immediately fell in love with the model and started researching different ways to franchise my existing business. At that time being a young college student, resources were tight and the options were few.

I contacted numerous franchise development companies, consultants, and attorneys just to find out that the investment was way beyond anything I could ever come up with. One day, I went into a bookstore and was searching in the business section for books on franchising when I came across Franchise Bible. The author was, of course, Erwin J. Keup. I read the book in one day and started putting together my thoughts and vision for a franchise.  Even though we were a young start up company and had very few resources, we believed we could really make a franchise happen.

On a long shot, I started a little primary research and looked on the back of the book and saw the picture of Erv Keup and his address. I was able to find his phone number with a little hard work and research (this was way before Google). I contacted his office and expected to leave a message. But, when I explained to his secretary what we were trying to do, he immediately took my call and graciously spent over an hour talking to me about our franchise model and shared some money saving tips and ideas to get us started. After we were able to have a few phone conversations, Erv volunteered to drive over 100 miles to Santa Barbara, which is where I lived. But he didn’t mind because his passion for franchising and the enthusiasm that we had made the trip worthwhile.

“Erv Keup’s passion for the franchise industry, the people who worked within it, and his overall belief in franchising and its contribution to the economy, has helped countless people realize their dreams through business ownership.”Rick Grossman

He was able to show us cost effective ways to create our franchise model and was flexible with helping us put our franchise documents together. We launched our franchise and had successful growth over several years. We never would have been able to do it without the help and assistance and the belief that Erv Keup gave to us.

Erv and I quickly became friends and started working on other franchise projects over the years. Erv took me under his wing and acted as my mentor. He taught me the business. I then started my own franchise development and consulting company and Erv and I worked on many projects together over the years and became friends in the franchise business. We knew when our wives were tired of hearing us talk about franchising we could always call each other and spend hours talking about the ins and the outs of our industry.

At the end of last year, I decided that, as Erv entered into his retirement years, it would be a good time to nominate him for a lifetime achievement award. I started working on it several months before the end of 2011 in hopes to present it to him in November of 2011. Unfortunately, we were all surprised and shocked when Erv suddenly took ill and passed away on October 16, 2011.

Even on his deathbed, he was instructing his sons on how to finish the 7th edition of Franchise Bible. Erv Keup’s passion for the franchise industry, the people who worked within it, and his overall belief in franchising and its contribution to the economy, has helped countless people realize their dreams through business ownership.

While crafting ideas for the Franchise Bible 7th edition, Erv told me that he really wanted to emphasize how franchising is such a huge part of the backbone of America, such a part of the success of the American dream, and how it could be a big part of pulling us out of the current economic situation that we’re in today. Erv was a great man and he’ll be greatly missed. This lifetime achievement, remembering Erv Keup, is our dedication and memorial to a great franchise believer and to a man who was always there to aid others in the pursuit of their franchising dreams.

Erv was most proud of his loving family. He would often tell me stories of their many adventures.

He is survived by his wife Mary of 54 years, his eight children, and his 17 grandchildren.

He told me he often teased his kids that 17 grandchildren was a good start but if they followed his pattern he should have had 64.

I had the privilege of attending his funeral service and getting to know other members of his family. They are a family of strong believers in God and his service was a beautiful celebration of his life.

Erv Keup practiced franchise law for over 45 years and helped countless franchisors and franchisees through the discovery and evaluation processes both personally with his firm and through the Franchise Bible. The 7th Edition of the Franchise Bible is due to be published by Entrpreneur Press in Fall of 2012 and it will be dedicated to the life and legacy of Erwin J. Keup.


Rick Grossman

Goodbye my friend.

Thank you for being my mentor.


–  Rick Grossmann


Did you know Erv Keup? Feel free to add a remembrance or comment below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Rick Grossman is founder and owner of franchise development firm Franchise Matchmaker.

Great Clips: Ethical Business Practices Pay Dividends

Despite the recession, hair care franchise company Great Clips is growing at, well, a great clip.

According to Vice President of Franchise Development Rob Goggins:

  • Great Clips has posted same-store sales increases for 22 straight quarters.
  • Great Clips is on target to recruit more than 100 new franchisees this year.
  • Great Clips is track to sign close to 200 leases.

Yet not only are they awarding new franchises at an impressive rate, Great Clips is also receiving awards… the latest being for business ethics.

Great Clips Receives 2010 Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010, Great Clips was presented with the 2010 Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA) for “ethical excellence.”

The MBEA was established in 1999 by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas.  The purpose of the award is to raise the standards for business ethics in Minnesota and to honor companies that exhibit the highest standards of ethical performance.  In 2009 the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants joined as an award sponsor.

MBEA recipients are selected based on company size.  Certes Financial Pros received the small-company award.  Edina-based Great Clips Inc. received the midsize-company award.  Imation Corp. received the large-company award.

Congratulations, Great Clips

In tough times, maintaining a reputation for ethics and honesty is more important than ever.  Obviously, the commitment Great Clips has made in building a reputation for fair-dealing and good business practices is playing a key role in their success.

Congratulations to Great Clips and its franchise owners for the MBEA award and for setting a winning example.

Are you familiar with Great Clips? Share a comment below.

What to Look For in a Franchise

In the long run, there are many criteria to consider when evaluating a franchise opportunity. But initially there are just three main questions I ask in order to determine whether a given opportunity warrants further investigation. In attending a Discovery Day, I want to know:

Is this the right market to get into?

It doesn’t matter if a franchise has the greatest products or services in the world if consumers aren’t ready, willing and able to buy. Are industry sales growing? If so, do credible sources predict that growth will continue? This was one of my main concerns about the Hand & Stone Massage concept: Isn’t massage one of those luxury items that gets cut in recessionary times?

Is this the right concept to meet the market need?

If you determine that there is a market need, then ask: Is this concept designed to meet the needs of both the consumer and you – the operator? The best franchise concepts are streamlined for both operational efficiency and profitability. They are designed to provide value and a superior experience for your customer, and growth through multiple revenue streams for you.

Is this the right management and support team to guide my growth… now and in the future?

This is a critical consideration for several reasons. When you purchase a franchise you are agreeing to follow the systems and policies set forth by the franchisor for the duration of your franchise contract. For that reason, it’s critically important that you are confident that the leadership team has both the experience and judgement to make the right strategic decisions, and that they are truly committed to franchisee success. Additionally, you should consider the franchise fees and royalties you will pay as fees for services rendered and evaluate them on that basis. Does this management team have the experience and expertise to provide value to your business not only in the start-up phase, but on an ongoing basis? Can they provide benefit in excess of the monetary contributions you will make?

NEXT: Part 2: The Booming Market for Massage & Facials

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