The Over-Convenience of 7-Eleven

By Ron Donoho
|  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009  |  Updated 6:45 AM PDT
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The Over-Convenience of 7-Eleven

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Big Bite: The stores of this convenience-store chain overpopulate downtown corners

There’s a new 7-Eleven (at Beech and State streets) near my condo in Little Italy. That's a relief. It'll only be one block from the my front door to the home of Big Bite hot dogs and Big Gulp sodas. That'll be so much more convenient than the six-block hike from home to a 7-Eleven at Kettner and Cedar.

I'm wondering if there are enough corners left in the world for this chain of convenience stores. 7-Eleven operates franchises or licenses more than 35,200 stores in 17 countries (including Denmark, Norway and South Korea). There are 5,700 7-Elevens in the United States. And now there are 10 in the downtown 92101 ZIP code.
 
Seriously, it's about a three-minute walk between the two Little Italy stores. The cross streets vary, but there are downtown locations on Second, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh and Twelfth avenues.
 
I’m no NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). I love downtown growth. Chances are you'll find me grabbing a Gatorade in the new, most proximal store. I congratulate the company's corporate board for having more stores on the globe than there are residents of Coronado. But once there's a 7-Eleven and a Starbucks on every corner of a city, it's time to put on the brakes. (FYI: There are 15,700-plus Starbucks worldwide, 10 of them in 92101 -- including two in Horton Plaza.)

I'm going to write a protest letter to somebody. After I finish my cherry Slurpee ...

Ron Donoho, formerly executive editor of "San Diego Magazine," is a regular contributor to NBCSandiego.com who covers local news, sports, culture and happy hours.

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