IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven has opened applications for its second annual emerging brands showcase, Brands With Heart, which will be held at the convenience-store chain's Store Support Center Oct. 22-23 in Irving, Texas.
The retailer will invite 65 companies, which will showcase their products and engage with the chain's leaders. Brands have until Sept. 20 to apply for the event.
"At 7-Eleven we are customer-obsessed, and part of that is identifying and sourcing new and innovative products and services for our customer," said Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven. "Throughout our history, 7-Eleven's success has been built on innovation—from the first days of offering bread and milk on an ice dock up to today, introducing 7Now delivery services, the 7Rewards customer loyalty program and mobile checkout as well as many other exceptional products you won't find anywhere else."
This event gives 7-Eleven an opportunity to learn more about new products reshaping the industry and how they might better serve the 8 million U.S. customers who visit its stores each day.
"Last year's event drew hundreds of applicants, 70 of which our team had the pleasure of learning more about," said Chris Harkness, vice president of merchandising for 7-Eleven. "We look forward to the same successful turnout this year. We're always striving to meet our customers where they are and provide them with the products they need for their busy lives. This event allows us to expand our offerings and find new ways to make our customers' experience with the brand even stronger.”
Brands With Heart features various workshops, an exposition and keynote sessions with industry experts who will discuss the importance of emerging brands in retail. Keynote speakers include Jack Stout, chief merchandising officer for 7-Eleven; and Lance Collins, founder of Fuze, Body Armor, Core and Adrenaline Shoc brands. The two-day experience will close with a networking reception for entrepreneurs and 7-Eleven’s merchandising team.
“The most innovative items discovered at last year's brand showcase have already hit Los Angeles 7-Eleven store shelves in a real-world test," Harkness said. "Ultimately, it's our customers who decide which products become true success stories."
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries, including about 9,100 in the United States. The chain is No. 1 in CSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail units.