A pair of suburban convenience store franchisees fight to keep trading in the face of 7-Eleven headquarters’ demands they shut up shop immediately.

The future of a longstanding 7-Eleven store in Melbourne’s outer east will go to trial, after its franchisees claimed a small win over the retail giant to stay open.

Franchisees Lanhai Pty Ltd, consisting of store managers Yong Li and Zhe Wang, were granted an injunction in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Thursday to keep trading until a trial to determine the store’s long-term future.

The duo went to court after 7-Eleven wanted to permanently close the Heathmont store on June 17 this year, with the view it was not financially profitable.

The store, located on Campbell St and the corner of Canterbury Rd, doesn’t offer petrol and has operated for almost 40 years,

Lanhai signed a 10-year lease at the store in June 2015 and claimed they were being forced out with four years left to run.

7-Eleven agreed to an extension for further negotiations with the couple, before an appeal was lodged by the couple’s lawyers in the Supreme Court on July 27.

It led to a hearing on September 1 and September 10, and Justice Riordan ruled in favour of the couple on September 16, granting an injunction until the matter goes to trial.

“I am currently minded to accept the defendant’s submission that any injunction should relate only to the maintenance of the lease and the franchise agreement, and should not extend, as the existing undertaking does, to generally restraining the defendant from preventing, obstructing or hindering the continued operation of the business,” he said.

“The continuation of the business represents the status quo and the refusal of the injunction would bring the plaintiffs’ business to an end.”

Extracted in full from: 7-Eleven Heathmont: Franchisees win Supreme Court injunction to keep trading | Herald Sun

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