7-Eleven is among the world’s largest and most widely recognized and iconic retailers, both inside and outside the c-store channel. The company’s iconic Slurpee, Big Gulp soft drinks and fresh-made coffees have helped 7-Eleven grow throughout North America and in several countries overseas.
Also known for its penchant for acquisition within the convenience-retail channel, 7-Eleven executed a major purchase in 2017 of more than 1,000 stores from Philadelphia-based Sunoco. The deal closed in January 2018, after CSP’s Top 202 ranking cutoff, but it represented such a dramatic change in store count that CSP editors decided to make an exception and include it in the 7-Eleven network.
In terms of in-store assortment, 7-Eleven convenience items range from cigarettes and magazines to sweet and salty snacks and beer and wine. 7-Eleven distinguishes itself from its competition with its many proprietary and private-label items. On the foodservice front, the chain rolled out its “fresh” initiative, adding more fresh food items across the chain. Technology, meanwhile, plays a major role in the brand’s evolution, including its 7Rewards loyalty app, a new BillPay app, third-party delivery and even a promotion involving drone delivery.
For management purposes, corporate and franchised North American stores are organized into geographical zones. 7-Eleven Hawaii also is a franchised area, which reports to Seven-Eleven Japan, not the U.S. franchise group in Irving, Texas. 7-Eleven Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Seven & I Holdings Co., which is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Source: Convenience Digital Resource Library, Technomic. For benchmarking purposes, store counts are year-end 2017.
Photo courtesy of Michael Rivera.