IRVING, Texas -- 7-Eleven Inc. is looking for innovative and emerging brands to participate in its inaugural “Next Up” event on October 11 at the 7-Eleven Store Support Center in Irving, Texas. The full-day event will give emerging brands an opportunity to share their products with convenience-store chain’s merchandising team and learn more about the retailer. Attending brands will be able to get a peek inside the merchandising world at 7-Eleven.
“7-Eleven has a 91-year history of innovation. Customers are changing faster than ever before and continue to look to 7-Eleven to bring innovative, fresh, and better-for you products to their local 7-Eleven store,” said Chris Harkness, 7-Eleven's vice president of business development and sales and field merchandising. “The millions of daily U.S. customers who visit our stores expect 7-Eleven to have what they need to make their busy lives easier.”
The retailer said it works with vendors of all sizes to bring new products to market. Next Up will provide an opportunity for small businesses and emerging brands to showcase products in an expo setting and participate in merchandising, logistics and operations workshops with company leaders.
The event includes sessions with industry experts who will discuss the role of emerging brands in the retail space. Keynote speakers include 7-Eleven Senior Vice President Jack Stout, who is in charge of merchandising, marketing and demand chain, as well as former Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb. The day will end with a networking event where entrepreneurs can share ideas with the 7-Eleven merchandising team in a more informal atmosphere.
To participate, companies can apply online. The deadline for applications is Oct. 2. Companies that apply before Sept. 17 have a chance to win the Next Up Scholarship, which covers airfare for two business representatives.
Irving, Texas-based 7‑Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America. It is No. 1 in CSP’s 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.