Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Joe Thompson Jr. (1901-1961)

Born Jan 25, 1901 in Waxahachie, Joe Thomson moved as a youngster to Dallas, where he maintained residence the rests of his life. While attending Oak Cliff High School, he worked in the summer, loading ice onto wagons for the Consumers Ice Company.

After graduating in 1922 from the University of Texas with degree in business administration, Thompson worked full-time at Consumers.

In 1927, the Southern Ice Company acquired Consumers and renamed the new firm the Southland Ice Company. Thompson bought 2500 shares at $10 apiece and was elected a director at the inaugural meeting in 1927.

In addition to selling blocks of ice to refrigerate food, an enterprising ice dock employee 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, and convenience retailing was born.

Under Thompsons’s leadership, Southland expanded its ice plants – by1928 it had 12 in Dallas.

Thompsons believed that the grocery sales were the way to expand the business, and soon all the Southland stores were selling groceries more or less under the counter.

By the end of 1947, Southland operation consisted of 74 convenience stores located mainly in Dallas, a number of ice production companies and Oak Farm, Dairies producing produce for sale in the stores.

In expanding, he hired an advertising agency to create a new name for his stores. Since most of them would be open from 7 am to 11 am, the agency suggested the name 7-eleven.
Joe Thompson Jr. (1901-1961)

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