7-Eleven is moving forward with its “evolution" store format.
The c-store giant, which unveiled the concept last March in Dallas, has expanded it to Washington, D.C., with an additional location to open in San Diego in the coming months. 7-Eleven said it plans to continue to expand the concept across the country in 2020.
The evolution format is designed to serve as a lab store and real-time experiential testing ground where customers can try the retailer’s latest innovations.
“Our evolution stores bring outstanding innovation to life through new food and beverage platforms as well as through digital experiences,” said 7-Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto.
The initial location exceeded expectations with enthusiastic reviews, crowds of customers and sales that continue to climb, according to 7-Eleven. The concepts that resonate with consumers are refined before being incorporated into the next generation of the chain’s current and new store standards.
The evolution stores include a Laredo Taco Company restaurant. (7-Eleven acquired the Laredo Taco Company restaurants along with Stripes convenience stores in South Texas as part of the 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.)
They also feature an assortment of exclusive products, services and features customized to the neighborhoods they serve. Digital initiatives that enhance the shopping experience are woven into the concept, including technology that allows customers to skip the checkout line and pay for their purchases via the 7-Eleven app.
Other features include:
• Made-to-order specialty drinks that give customers the option to customize their drinks in a full-service beverage format including custom hot coffee drinks like flavored lattes, mochas and more as well as custom cold drinks like smoothies, agua frescas and cold brew coffee;
• Self-serve specialty coffee drinks with the addition of touch-screen machines that brew custom hot coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, espresso shots and more in just seconds;
• Cold treats bar with multiple frozen yogurt and ice cream with multiple toppings;
• National brand electronics such as tablets and Bluetooth headphones available for sale from a secure, self-serve kiosk;
• On-the-go beauty with expanded skin care, makeup and other health and beauty items; and
• 7Now Delivery App – 7-Eleven's on-demand delivery app allows customers to have their favorite items delivered to their door.
• Certain locations include The Cellar, an alcove dedicated to an expanded selection of wines and craft beers, with a nearby growler station that features a rotating selection of local craft beer, cider and ales on tap.
“These new stores are invaluable learning labs, where new concepts are tailored to meet the needs of the communities they will serve from sunny southern California to the fast-paced world of the East Coast," said 7-Eleven executive VP and COO Chris Tanco. "We will continue to evolve based on customer feedback and we look forward to creating the next generation of convenience together."