The convenience store giant’s 7-Eleven recently opened location in Dallas boasts a new store format where shoppers can try and buy the retailer’s latest innovations. It features a streamlined checkout process that allows customers to pay through their phones, indoor and outdoor seating and a product assortment that ranges from handmade tortillas to craft beers to organic teas on tap.
Described as a “lab store and an experiential testing ground,” the outpost is the only one of its type in 7-Eleven’s U.S. portfolio. It is located less than two miles from the original Southland Ice House in Oak Cliff where 7-Eleven pioneered the convenience retailing concept more than 90 years ago.
“Convenience retailing is light years away from the days of bread and milk being sold from ice docks in 1927, and the industry is changing at a faster rate than ever before,” said Chris Tanco, 7 Eleven executive VP and COO.“7-Eleven stays at the forefront by pushing the boundaries and being unafraid to try new things. This new lab store will serve as a place to test, learn and iterate new platforms and products to see what really resonates with customers and how we can use those learnings to influence future store designs.”
The lab store is the first 7-Eleven location to incorporate the Laredo Taco Company taqueria, and is Laredo’s first location in Dallas. The brand is known for its handmade tortillas made from scratch in stores every day. 7-Eleven acquired the taqueria along with Stripes convenience stores in South Texas as part of the 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.
Digital initiatives that enhance the shopping experience are woven into the store, including “scan & pay” technology that allows customers to skip the checkout line and pay for their purchases on their smartphones.
“A lot has changed in retail and continues to change rapidly, especially the shopping experience,” Tanco said. “This lab store is customer-focused and will explore new ideas that weren’t even on the retail radar a few months ago.”
Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 67,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.
Source: Chain Store Age