DALLAS — Lake Highlands, a northeast Dallas neighborhood, is home to the newest 7-Eleven Evolution Store, the second of its “lab” stores in Dallas and the fifth in the country, the convenience-store retailer has announced.
The Irving, Texas-based company opened three of these new concept stores earlier this year in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. The company said it expects to open more Evolution stores in 2021.
7–Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 71,800 stores in 17 countries, including approximately 12,000 in North America, with more than 9,350 in the United States. It is No. 1 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by size.
Take a look at the new retail experience …
The new location will have many of the same features as the first Evolution Store, including a Laredo Taco Company quick-serve restaurant (QSR), along with self-serve, bean-to-cup coffee and espresso with touch-screen ordering, cookies and croissants baked in store daily, a wide selection of organic, natural and better-for-you items, an extensive wine selection and more.
The store is an experiential testing ground where customers can try and buy the retailer's latest innovations in a new store format.
“We have learned a lot since we opened our first Evolution Store in early 2019, most importantly, that convenience shoppers love the concept and its unique product mix,” said Chris Tanco, 7-Eleven executive vice president and COO. “The Sylvan Thirty store wildly exceeded our expectations, with sales three times what we originally projected. We've learned what resonates with customers and already incorporated our learnings into new and existing 7-Eleven stores across the system,” he said.
The Lake Highlands store will have the second Laredo Taco Company QSR in Dallas. 7-Eleven acquired the authentic Mexican concept along with Stripes convenience stores in south Texas as part of the 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.
Laredo Taco Company restaurants are famous in South Texas for their handmade tortillas made from scratch in stores every day, as well as their popular salsa bar with onsite, daily prepared salsas, guacamole and pico de gallo. Tacos, bowls and plate meals include specialties not always seen in quick-serve Tex-Mex restaurants, such as barbacoa, carne asada, picadillo, carnitas and breakfast tacos.
The store also features customizable, self-serve novelty beverages on tap such as nitro cold brew, premium teas, aguas frescas, frozen coffee Slurpee Nitro drinks, blended smoothies with real fruit and flavored sparkling water.
It also offers cookies, croissants and more baked in store daily.
Digital initiatives including mobile checkout technology allows customers to skip the checkout line and pay for non-age-restricted purchases on their smartphones. The 7NOW delivery app allows customers to have their favorite items like fresh food, beverages, snacks, groceries and household products delivered to their door or available for pickup by ordering and paying ahead of time.
“7-Eleven continues to push boundaries and try new solutions to answer customers' needs,” Tanco said. “We have been ahead of the game with digital technology, specifically with contactless payments, home delivery and loyalty programs. That has proven particularly important now as we continue to navigate the pandemic. The shopping experience will never stop evolving, and we are laser-focused on our bright future serving customers.”
Lake Highlands native, mixed-media painter and artist Mariell Guzman, helped create a unique brand personality for the store and the neighborhood, 7-Eleven said. He painted two murals, one inside the store and one on the north side of the store, visible from Walnut Hill and suitable for selfies and social media posts. Guzman's Mexican heritage influences her art, the company said. The use of bright, rich colors and whimsical, fun designs reflect the energy of the neighborhood.