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Brief Published: 9 Apr 2019

7-Eleven Has Opened a Restaurant to Test New Products


Blurring the boundaries between retail and hospitality, US convenience store 7-Eleven has opened a sit-down restaurant in Dallas, Texas. The new space will road test new products and services.

The hip outpost offers made-to-order coffee (including nitro cold brew), tea, kombucha, cold-pressed juices and pastries, alongside a self-service craft beer station. It also features a frozen yogurt and ice cream bar as well as a taco stand.

Chris Tanco, 7-Eleven's vice president and chief operating officer, said of the opening: "This new lab store will serve as a place to test, learn, and iterate on new platforms and products simultaneously to see what really resonates with customers and how we can take those learnings system-wide."

The retail chain is set to open two more stores in San Diego and Washington D.C. this year.

This move by the convenience retailer is a savvy one: it capitalises on the opportunity for boosted sales thanks to increased dwell time; and it enables the brand to experiment with new and innovative products on a manageable scale, before rolling them out across its 66,500 stores in the US.

For an earlier successful example of this sort of symbiotic thinking, see Japanese lifestyle brand Muji's hotel concepts in Shenzhen, Beijing and Ginza, covered here.

Read also Retail's Elastic Brands: Stretch & Diversify and Brand Stretch: Elastic Food & Drink Development.