What will 7-Eleven do with all its new stores?
7-Eleven is one of the most well-known U.S. convenience store chains and thanks to an acquisition, customers might be noticing a lot more of them.
The retailer has acquired 1,030 convenience stores owned by Sunoco spread across 17 states, the largest acquisition in 7-Eleven’s history, according to Convenience Store News. The acquisition bumps 7-Eleven’s total store count up to around 9,700 in the U.S. and Canada.
The acquisition comes at a time when many retailers across markets are reducing their footprints nationwide. The convenience store space, however, is one of the areas in which some analysts are reporting growth.
Convenience stores were among the fastest growing segments of retail trailing only off-price retail and dollar stores, according to a summer 2017 report by IHL Services.
At the same time, the demands placed on convenience stores have begun to change. Customer expectations for such features as prepared foods in recent years have caused some convenience stores to start playing with more upmarket concepts.
Hy-Vee, for instance, last year began experimenting with what it called a “c-store on steroids” concept, featuring prepared foods, a Starbucks and an in-store restaurant to resemble a hybrid between a traditional c-store and a supermarket.
And, of course, the convenience store industry faces disruption from checkout-free store concept Amazon Go, which finally got its public launch in Seattle earlier this week after 14 months of testing and troubleshooting.
7-Eleven has been pursuing its own technological upgrades. In December, the chain began testing a smartphone app that enables mobile ordering for in-store pickup or delivery.
- 7-Eleven Closes Biggest Acquisition in Its History – Convenience Store News
- Retailers Opening Over 4,000 Stores in 2017, Debunking the Retail Apocalypse – IHL Services
- 7-Eleven goes omnichannel with mobile BOPIS and delivery – RetailWire
- Will Hy-Vee’s new c-store concept redefine convenience in the Twin Cities? – RetailWire
- Will the newest Walmart c-store concept be the one that sticks? – RetailWire
- Amazon Go goes live – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will 7-Eleven benefit from its newly increased footprint? What changes do you see coming ahead for convenience stores over the next several years?