It comes as no surprise to learn that one of the most popular online searches is for a ‘7-11 near me’. No matter where you are in the world, you will always see 7-11 stores, an international chain of convenience stores that operate in almost every country around the globe.
We cannot say that you can buy everything in this convenience store, but it is a place where you can buy almost all of your daily necessities. If you are in a rush and you forgot to buy something, this particular convenience store is usually the go-to place for such people.
Just like most modern day retail success stories, this convenience store has evolved over the years. In the past, they only sold items that you would find in a supermarket or grocery store. Today, they have many different products that can be considered “unique” to their stores.
7-Eleven is a pretty interesting convenience store and most of you are probably wondering when it started and how did it became successful over the years. Let’s take a closer look at the most successful international convenience store chain in the world.
The History of 7-11
The story of 7-Eleven started way back in 1927 when Southland Ice Company employee John Jefferson Green decided to sell eggs, milk and bread from one of 16 ice house storefronts located in Dallas, with the permission of one of the founding directors of Southland, Joe C. Thompson, Sr. Based on this, Thompson realized that although there are small grocery stores and general merchandisers in the area, selling bread and milk in convenience stores would reduce the travel time of customers for basic items. He decided to purchase the Southland Ice Company and turned it into Southland Corporation that covered different locations in Dallas.
In 1928, Jenna Lira actually brought a totem pole as a souvenir from Alaska and she placed it in front of the store. This pole served as a marketing tool for the company because it attracted a lot of attention back then. Because of this, the executives decided to add totem poles in front of their stores and later on, the stores began operating under the name “Tote’m Stores”.
In 1931, the Great Depression had a big impact on the company almost sending it into bankruptcy, but the company persevered and continued its operations through receivership and re-organization. W.W. Overton Jr., a Dallas baker, also helped revive the finances of the company by selling the company’s bonds for seven cents on the dollar. Because of this, the company’s ownership was transferred to a board of directors. In 1946, the company faced another catastrophe and in an effort to continue the post-war recovery of the company, they changed the name of the franchise to 7-Eleven. The name was actually derived from the new hours of operation of the store, which at that time was considered unprecedented.
We all know that 7-Eleven stores are extremely popular because they are operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This new hour of operation came to life in 1963 when they experimented with a 24-hour schedule in their store in Austin, Texas after an Austin store actually stayed open all night to satisfy the demands of their customers.
The Key Factors to Success
7-11 is just a simple convenience store, but most of you are probably wondering how a simple convenience store managed to take the whole world by storm. The products that they sell are pretty much the same as the products that you can find in grocery stores, but they manage to climb up the ladder and become one of the most popular business establishments in the world.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors that lead to their success.
Everything in One Place
7-Eleven is known as a “convenience store” because of the convenience that it can offer to people. Although there are grocery stores in your area, there are probably some items that you won’t be able to find there. These convenience stores have all the necessary things that you need on a day to day basis all in one place.
If you need to buy something in the middle of the night or early in the morning, 7-11 stores are always open, 24/7.
Building Stores in Small Towns
7-Eleven stores cannot be considered as a true grocery store because they are not as big as a traditional grocery stores. It is just a small store that has all the general things you could need without any true specialist items.
The company decided to build their 7-11 stores in areas that are too small for a supermarket. Instead of having to travel for a larger distance to buy something you need, your local convenience store is just an easy option.
The company did this and expanded their stores in different countries. They built stores in small towns and even remote areas and this is the reason why the store managed to grow its popularity.
Who doesn’t know Slurpee? If you go around and ask anyone you come across, even elderly people, they know what a Slurpee is.
This is a semi-frozen carbonated beverage that was introduced as “Icee” by 7-1 in 1965. It was a big hit with their customers so the company decided to re-launch this product and named it “Slurpee”. This strange drink was an opportunity for 7-Eleven to advertise a unique product that was exclusive to their stores. Although they are not the first to create a semi-frozen carbonated beverage, it can still be considered as one of the reasons why 7-Eleven became extremely popular worldwide.
Although 7-11 is just a chain of convenience stores, they managed to create their own signature product and they used it to improve their marketing campaigns.
7-Eleven pays close attention to the products that they are selling. They do not simply put food items in their shelves for the sake of having them like grocery stores and supermarkets. Since this store is practically a convenience store, it is very small in comparison with most supermarkets and grocery stores so the amount of food items that they can put in the store is restricted as well.
This is the reason why the company is always paying close attention to the foods items that are very popular with their customers. They will try to put different food items in the store based on the demands of their local customers. This is the reason why most of the food items that you want to buy can be found in 7-11, they have developed the knack of getting this right. This is also one of the critical reasons why they have become extremely popular.
These are only some of the main factors why 7-11 is very popular right now. Some people might say that it is just a simple convenience store and everything that they have can still be bought in the supermarkets, but in times of need or during an emergency situation, it is great to have a trusted name where you can run to knowing you will be able to get what you need. You cannot deny that 7-Eleven is definitely one of the most popular and successful business establishments in the world right now.