Philippine Seven, a franchisee of 7-Eleven convenience store chain, is gearing up to open about 200 outlets in the Visayas Islands, Philippines over the next two years.

The expansion is aimed at increasing the retail network from 829 in 2012 to a total of 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2013.

The company has so far opened 34 stores in the Visayas, out of which 30 were opened in Cebu earlier in 2013.

Philippine Seven Visayas regional operations head Gil Abad told BusinessWorld Online that 20 of the proposed stores would be owned by the company, while the remaining would be opened through franchisees.

"Some of our existing franchisees will open additional branches and we also have inquiries from several businessmen who are interested to become franchise holders," added Abad.

Philippine Seven, along with its franchisees, is investing PHP100m ($2.29m) to open 20 new outlets across Negros Occidental, of which four have been opened earlier this month.

Philippine Seven president and chief executive officer Jose Victor Paterno told the website that the company is also looking to expand the 7-Eleven brand to other prime provinces to leverage the huge customer potential outside of Metro Manila.