DALLAS -- As part of a new campaign known as "More in Store" to present a consistent and fresh customer experience, 7-Eleven Inc. has undergone its fastest store-renovation effort ever, significantly upgrading more than 1,000 of its 7-Eleven stores on the East Coast serving residents in the greater New York City, northern and central New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas.
The "whirlwind" store-remodeling ramped up in March, when the convenience retailer added revamped coffee bars, hot-foods equipment and, in some cases, updating stores' interiors with new walls, [image-nocss] floors, ceilings, lighting and fixtures.
The four-month construction schedule was "somewhat of a logistical marvel," the company said. Most stores remained open during the remodeling process, with each store upgrade taking no more than five nights to avoid the heavier customer-traffic periods during the day. The schedule called for 60 stores to be renovated each week. In addition to various equipment improvements at 1,000-plus stores, 7-Eleven replaced floors, repaved parking lots or upgraded the exteriors of another 550 stores.
Some stores already had added the hot foods program with new ovens and display cases, the expanded coffee bars or both, while others were adding all these new elements at once. Each renovation was planned to ensure continuity in look, product offering and convenience store-to-store.
While the construction project was underway, 7-Eleven employees in the affected stores received additional customer-service training to enhance their guests' overall experience.
"We want to present one updated and refreshed store face to our guests in these markets, and offer a quality alternative to fast-food restaurants, which includes expanded fresh-food selections, hot foods and a new coffee island with dispensers that ensure high quality at every location," said Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, senior vice president of merchandising, marketing and logistics.
To let consumers know that there's a "new" 7-Eleven in town, the company is kicking off a media blitz this month that includes TV and radio spots, outdoor and online advertising and newspaper ads for free or fresh and hot foods offerings. Media messages convey that 7-Eleven stores are good not only for snacks and variety, but can be meal destinations for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The More in Store campaign features larger-than-life beauty shots of fresh foods like sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit, pizza, chicken wings, muffins and iced coffee. Print and outdoor headlines like "More of What You'd Never Expect," "We A.M. to Please," "Shame on the Same Ol'," "We've Raised the Bar on the Coffee Bar" and "Give Your Tastebuds the VIP Treatment" were written to entice consumers to visit 7-Eleven stores to see and taste the difference.
The company is considering store-remodel programs in other parts of the United States, it said.
In other company news, 7-Eleven's third concert in the MixMaker Summer Concert Series features alternative hip-hop band Gym Class Heroes, appearing July 25 at Chicago's Lincoln Hall. With up-and-coming talent performances and $7.11 prices, the Slurpee concerts previously featured Jack's Mannequin and Girl Talk.
Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 8,600 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, there are approximately 41,500 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2010, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales close to $63 billion.
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