Perception of 7-Eleven plunges after ICE raids

January 19, 2018

On January 10, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided 7-Eleven stores nationwide—arresting 21 undocumented workers. Following the sweep, American consumer perception of the convenience chain fell to its lowest level since December 2015, based on polling results released this week by YouGov.

On, the day of the raids—which affected 98 stores in 17 states, from California to Florida— 6% of consumers said they would consider buying something at 7-Eleven the next time they were shopping for groceries. However, that number dropped a couple of points, to 4%, by January 15.

The reason? Consumers may have gotten skittish about grocery shopping at stores that ICE is clearly targeting.

What’s more consumer “buzz” about the chain went negative, the polling organization reports, starting at a 6 on January 1 and plunging to a -4 by January 15.

In its own statement, picked up by NBC News, 7-Eleven said it was aware of the ICE raids and stressed that each franchise is run by “independent business owners” who are “solely responsible for their employees, including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States.”

“Seven-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws,” the statement read.

“Today’s actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal work force: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable,” Thomas D. Homan, the acting director of the agency, said in a statement picked up by The New York Times.

Research contact: ted.marzilli@yougov.com

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