National Free Slurpee Day

Discussion
Jul 12, 2011
George Anderson

July 11 (aka 7/11) is a big day for the 7-Eleven convenience store day. To celebrate the chain handed out free 7.11 ounce Slurpees, around five million in all, to customers at stores across the country yesterday.

In addition to all the free press the event generated, 7-Eleven was also looking for the giveaway to generate additional sales of Slurpees. Nancy Smith, vice president of marketing for the chain, told USA Today that the Slurpee giveaway in 2010 generated a one day sales increase of 38 percent for the beverage as well as incremental sales for other categories.

"Slurpee drinkers are some of the most loyal fans we have," Ms. Smith told the paper. "They come here to have fun."

The loyalty of Slurpee drinkers may offer opportunities for 7-Eleven to grow sales beyond the confines of its stores. The chain is currently testing sales of the drink at 32 movie theaters operated by Cinemark Holdings, the third largest operator of theaters in the U.S.

"Our research and past promotional successes show that movie fans love Slurpees, and Slurpee fans love movies," Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven senior vice president, told the paper.

Cinemark, which currently sells Icees in its theaters, is engaging in the test to see if Slurpees will take sales to a higher level.

"Slurpee is a very strong brand and presents a lot of marketing opportunities for us, including maybe some cross-promotions with their stores in the future,"  Bob Shimmin, vice president of food and beverage at Cinemark, told The Dallas Morning News.

Discussion Questions: What is your assessment of 7-Eleven’s free Slurpee giveaway event? Do you see opportunities for 7-Eleven to grow the brand outside its own stores?

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10 Comments on "National Free Slurpee Day"


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David Livingston
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

To me, it’s just a drink. Most fast food restaurants practically give away their drinks on dollar menus. It’s a nice promotion but it’s not going to turn the c-store world upside down. I can go into Winn-Dixie and drink free coffee. I don’t see much difference.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

The giveaway should prove popular with consumers, particularly the already converted. The problem with all of these programs is that they reward existing customers more than they attract new customers.

As to whether Slurpees can ooze out of their present channel, the question really is what channels are there that charge the same outrageous margins c-stores do? Oh, that’s right, they want to test in movie theaters!

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
9 years 10 months ago

For those pallets thirsty for a Slurpee, and there are probably millions of Slurpee loyalists, this was a good event for 7-Eleven. Now the Slurpee mystic will now move to movie theaters. Can anything beat a movie shared with a Slurpee? Not for a Slurpee-ian but for most everyone else, it’s just a sticky wicket.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

Gee whiz. I missed out on this. I forgot the day and now have to wait until next year to get a free Slurpee. BTW, if I do get one next year, it will be my first.

John Crossman
Guest
John Crossman
9 years 10 months ago

I love this! One of my younger employees sent an email to everyone in my company reminding them of free Slurpee day. A friend of mine sent me a text. It clearly worked. Way to go 7-Eleven!

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

“Do you see opportunities for 7-Eleven to grow the brand outside its own stores?” Yes, as well as for ANY other retailer brand. Today’s interconnected marketplace begs for patronage and loyalty across channels. Although consumer attention spans are at an all-time low, and therefore loyalty to brands is challenged more than ever, consumers still desire a connection to brands they trust. They love to associate with a cool brand. How many “Aero,” “Hollister,” “Nike,” etc., shirts do you see on a daily basis. If the retailer develops the brand into a cultural following, then loyalty to the brand (be it retailers, product, whatever) most often follows.

James Tenser
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

Free is still a great price.

Sounds like 7-Eleven’s promotion did its job yesterday–driving meaningful traffic and reinforcing Slurpee brand awareness. At pennies per serving, it’s cheaper than most coupons–with no clearing costs.

Every other convenience store offers a frozen slush beverage, but Slurpee has arguably the most brand equity. Distribution in movie theaters, amusement parks, sports venues, street festivals and at the beach seems like a brilliant way to leverage that awareness.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

Slurpee is a brand with a following so licensing and co-branding are logical next steps. Freebies aside, retailers of all stripes have awakened to the reality that they’ve been sitting on their assets. Time to monetize!

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

I think there are thousands of 6-year olds who will remember this fondly, and return the favor in 10 years’ times by buying–or trying to buy–their 12-packs there. Beyond that? Well, the Slurpee is already something of an institution…I believe it has been parodied on the Simpsons, which makes its status as an icon official.

Larry Negrich
Guest
9 years 10 months ago

This one doesn’t need much assessment: This promotion has worked in the past and continues to drive sales.If it’s working, keep doing it.

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