7-Eleven’s new store concept is an ‘Evolution’ in convenience
Over the last year, 7-Eleven has been running a testing ground for new in-store features in Dallas called 7-Eleven Evolution. The convenience store chain is now bringing the new concept to two new cities, with an eye toward expanding it even further.
Washington D.C. recently became home to the second 7-Eleven Evolution store and a third location will be opening in San Diego soon. The new stores, which have a range of features not found in conventional 7-Elevens, are meant to test and gather data on customer responses to those features for refinement and possible broader rollout.
Both 7-Eleven Evolution concepts feature a Laredos Taco Company restaurant in-store (a brand which the chain picked up as part of its acquisition of Sunoco). The stores also feature a range of localized product assortments, services and features. This is in addition to made-to-order specialty drinks, novelty beverages, a cold snack bar, touch-screen brewed self-serve coffee, electronics for sale via kiosk, fresh baked goods and on-the-go beauty products. An area branded “The Cellar” features an expanded wine selection and local alcoholic craft beverages on tap. (The Cellar is not available in the D.C. location.)
The convenience store brand intends to expand the 7-Eleven Evolution concept further throughout the country later this year.
Despite its position as the largest convenience store chain in the U.S., 7-Eleven has not been sitting still as the vertical has changed. Since late 2017 the chain has been promoting its mobile app, piloting services like BOPIS and mobile ordering and leveraging in-store AR gaming for various promotions.
More technological disruption is looming in the convenience store industry and 7-Eleven has been taking steps to manage that, as well. The chain recently announced the pilot of a cashierless store concept at its Irving, TX headquarters. The small concept allows for purchase and checkout exclusively via app.
Such experiments may help the chain avoid being caught off guard should the Just Walk Out technology on display at Amazon Go and Amazon’s new, full-service grocery store become mainstream.
- 7-Eleven Expands Evolution Store Concept to Washington, D.C. and San Diego – PR Newswire
- 7-Eleven tries out an Amazon Go-like store – RetailWire
- Top 202 Convenience Stores 2019 – CPS Daily News
- 7-Eleven to take a page from Starbucks with cafe concept – RetailWire
- 7-Eleven goes omnichannel with mobile BOPIS and delivery – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think 7-Eleven’s Evolution concept will be viable across the U.S.? What information will the retailer need from its test stores in Dallas, San Diego and Washington, D.C. to plan where it should go next with the format?