KUALA LUMPUR: Convenience store chain 7-Eleven Malaysia today launched its 2,000th store at The Scott Garden mall along Jalan Klang Lama here. Witnessing the ceremony was Berjaya Corporation Bhd founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who was proud of the management team's achievement. Recalling the time when he acquired the brand some 15 years ago at RM80 million, and with only 176 stores, Tan said most of his financial advisers had urged him not to purchase the chain at such an exorbitant price. Despite their concerns, he went ahead and set a target of setting up 200 stores annually. However, Tan believes the target of opening 300 to 400 stores every year can be achieved, including in the rural areas to expand the network to 5,000. "We presently employ about 12,000 staff and would like to increase this to 36,000 staff where they will learn about the retail business, being courteous and perhaps move to have a business of their own in the future," he said during the launch. The company has grown to become arguably the No 1 standalone convenience chain in the country today. Also present was 7-Eleven Malaysia CEO Gary Brown, who agreed with this sentiment. He added the rapid expansion had enabled 7-Eleven to reach and penetrate areas throughout the country, including East Malaysia. "Our stores are now stocked with a wider selection of fresh food and beverages under our proprietary brand of Fresh to Go; we have designer sandwiches, burgers and packaged bakery, high quality instant meals such as pasta, nasi lemak and fried noodles. "Our beverage selections are extensive and includes our renowned Slurpee, Gulp and hot beverage options such as black or white coffee, teh tarik, Milo and hot chocolate. It costs as little as RM2 to savour an 8oz cup of our Fresh to Go hot beverage range," he said, adding there are plans to expand in Penang, Johor, Malacca and the East Coast. Others at the ceremony included the company chairman Lena Tan and co-directors, Chan Kien Sing and Tan U-Ming. 7-Eleven achieved a sales of RM2 billion and net profit of RM56 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2015.