7-Eleven expands new store format

Marianne Wilson
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7-Eleven has opened the fifth location of its new “evolution” store concept. 

The convenience store giant first unveiled the concept in March 2019, in Dallas, and subsequently opened locations in New York, San Diego and Washington, D.C. The newest store is in the northeast Dallas neighborhood of Lake Highlands. 

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. According to 7-Eleven COO Chris Tanco, the original Dallas location “wildly” exceeded company expectations, with sales three times what was originally projected. 

“We've learned what resonates with customers and already incorporated our learnings into new and existing 7-Eleven stores across the system,” Tanco said.

Two larger-than-life murals, done by Lake Highlands native and mixed-media painter and artist Mariell Guzman, help create a unique brand personality for the new store. Located inside the space and on the north side of the exterior, the bright, colorful murals are suitable for selfies and social media posts.  

The store houses the second Laredo Taco Company restaurant in Dallas. 7-Eleven acquired the Mexican concept along with Stripes convenience stores in South Texas as part of the 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.

Other store features include: 
•    Expanded self-serve hot beverage bar, with bean-to-cup coffee and espresso, brewed after being ordered from a touch screen;
•    Customizable, self-serve novelty beverages on tap;
•    An expanded selection of domestic and international wines;
•    Walk-in beer cooler with curated selection of craft and local beers, popular imports and top-selling big brand beer; and
•    Cookies, croissants and more baked in store daily.

Digital initiatives that enhance the shopping experience, including mobile checkout technology allows customers to pay for their (non-age-restricted) purchases on their smartphones. And using the chain’s 7NOW delivery app, customers can have items delivered straight to their door or available for pickup by ordering and paying ahead of time.

"7-Eleven continues to push boundaries and try new solutions to answer customers' needs," Tanco said. "We have been ahead of the game with digital technology, specifically with contactless payments, home delivery and loyalty programs. That has proven particularly important now as we continue to navigate the pandemic. The shopping experience will never stop evolving, and we are laser-focused on our bright future serving customers."