National Free Slurpee Day
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.
- Free Slurpees come with a twist: They may cost you – USA Today
- 7-Eleven and Cinemark are bringing Slurpees to the movies – 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?