DOWNTOWN, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - 2015/08/23: 7-Eleven convenience store signage in downtown Toronto. 7-Eleven is the world's largest operator, licensor and franchisor of convenience stores. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The Post-Prohibition Resurrection Of
By Elias Nash
According to Reader's Digest, the name 7-Eleven dates back to 1946, and at that time, the stores were open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The business dates back another 20 years, and it might not have survived to 1946 were it not for the impact of Prohibition.
In 1927, four ice companies in Dallas formed the Southland Ice Company (via Reference for Business) and began selling basic staples to supplement their business. When one executive placed a souvenir totem pole in front of one of the stores, it earned the business a new nickname: "the tote'm store," which led the store to rebrand as “Tote’m.”
The Depression dealt a significant blow to Tote'm until Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Democratic cohorts took control of the government's executive and legislative branches and repealed Prohibition. Reader's Digest notes that Tote'm stores immediately seized the opportunity to sell booze, and their fortunes changed for the better, propelling them towards their ultimate rebrand as 7-Eleven.