7-Eleven, IRI Extend, Enhance 7-Exchange

Permits smaller manufacturers to participate more easily

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. has announced the continued availability of the Information Resources Inc. (IRI) 7-Exchange Program.

Used by top CPG manufacturers, the sales information resource is now in its third year, and provides the industry's only direct, interactive access to 7-Eleven store-specific, daily, item-level, point-of-sale (POS) data from more than 5,000 stores. The data is available in a structured, collaborative platform and reflects the retailer's unique category and geography definitions.

The revamped and expanded version of 7-Exchange will permit small- and midsized manufacturers to participate more easily, the companies said. In near-real time, multiple companies in a single category now will be able to access sales data of all items, not just their own. The goal of 7-Exchange is to use such information to develop fact-based, category management plans driven by business insights, scorecards and performance metrics.

"We are very pleased with the value 7-Exchange has delivered to our manufacturer partners," said Cynthia Davis, 7-Eleven senior vice president of merchandising. "We believe the program can be even stronger in 2006 and beyond. Based on the feedback and suggestions we've received from participants as well as our own observations, this enhanced version will better enable manufacturers to uncover business-building opportunities, act faster with greater confidence and ultimately win at the 7-Eleven store shelves."

Participants of the 7-Exchange pilot program have identified multiple business benefits, the company said, including the ability to:

Identify new item development opportunities. Track new product launches using near real-time distribution reads. Design and recommend more customer-focused assortments. Monitor category and product performance, by store, in a time frame that allows for consequential action. Understand success drivers at top store groups and develop programs accordingly to capitalize across stores. Improve pricing strategies through greater understanding of sales velocity, competitive movement and promotional activity. Proactively measure promotional programs during execution and address compliance issues. Improve analytic productivity.

Chicago-based IRI provides enterprise market information solutions and services for the consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and healthcare industries.