7-Eleven was founded by J. C. Thompson in 1927 as The Southland Ice Company in Dallas, Texas. Started as an ice vendor, the company eventually began offering milk, bread and eggs on Sundays and evenings when grocery stores were closed. This new business idea produced satisfied customers and increased sales, spawning the precursor of the modern convenience retail concept.
The company’s first convenience outlets were known as Tote’m stores since customers “toted” away their purchases, and some even sported genuine Alaskan totem poles in front. In 1946, Tote’m became 7-Eleven to reflect the stores’ new, extended hours – 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., seven days a week. The company’s corporate name was changed from The Southland Corporation to 7-Eleven, Inc. in 1999.
The first 7-Eleven store in Malaysia opened on 9 October 1984 in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur and it is still in operation today.
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