7-Eleven Tries To Fit In

Aug 10, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

7-Eleven has decided that if it wants to open another 41 stores in Boston over
the next three years that it is just going to have to work on fitting in.

To that end, the nation’s largest convenience store chain, is agreeing to make
some significant changes to its store design and other aspects of its business
to establish its desire to become a part of Boston’s varied neighborhoods.

Ken Barnes, 7-Eleven’s real estate manager, told The Boston Globe, “We’re
a big company, but we’re a neighborhood store.”

The retailer has made some significant cosmetic changes to gain community buy-in
for its stores, including agreeing to not put its red, orange and green signs
outside stores or paint its red stripe on interior walls. In essence, many of
the store design elements 7-Eleven uses to identify its brand have been set
aside in Boston. “In fact,” reports The Globe, “If it weren’t for the
Big Gulps and hot dogs turning on a grill, you might not know it was a 7-Eleven.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on 7-Eleven
getting lease and zoning approvals by developing units you might not know were
part of the chain if it weren’t for the Big Gulp stations inside the store?

7-Eleven has determined that there is a significant opportunity
for it to achieve supply chain efficiencies by concentrating stores in large
urban areas. To get the approvals to do this, the chain will need to prove to
the communities it is looking to build in that it truly is the “neighborhood
store” that Ken Barnes speaks about.

George Anderson – Moderator

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