What happens when you have a recession, empty real estate in neighborhood strip centers, and lower rents thanks to the recession and empty real estate? More 7-Elevens.

The Dallas-based convenience store chain, with 226 stores in the area, wants to add 75 more. And, say company officials, they want to do it quickly by buying competitors and looking for sites to build new stores. Which means that the vacant bank building or the off-brand convenience store around the corner could soon be selling Slurpees.

We’ve spent a lot of time on the blog over the past 18 months or so pondering the fate of neighborhood retail, but I don’t know that anyone thought that one of the big players would be 7-Eleven.

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