A number of 7-Eleven CBD stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have been transformed over the past 18 months into sleek and stylish stores with an inviting new layout.
The central business district stores are focused on customers’ specific needs for those locations, with increased space allocated to food and drinks, including coffee.
7-Eleven GM Corporate Affairs Clayton Ford said: “The format gives more space for coffee and 7-Eleven fresh food such as sandwiches, sushi, hot pastry, sweet treats and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. There is also a specialised bakery range, delivered fresh into store each day”.
The 7-Eleven convenience store on Clarence Street is one such store which has been refurbished and is thriving from the changes.
The Clarence Street Franchisee Reasat said there were a lot of things that she liked about the new store layout.
“Firstly, the colour of the store stands out and looks very stylish,” she said.
“The sound system makes the store ambience very lively. The new layout of the store makes it more spacious and inviting to customers.
“The transformation has had a positive impact on the brand name of 7-Eleven as a whole. Customers expect better service from the store and a higher quality product.
“Since the transformation, the layout of the new store and the colour makes it more appealing.
“For all my employees, since the transformation, they feel happier and proud to be part of this store. They are more enthusiastic and motivated, minor changes like the introduction of a music system make the workplace livelier.”
Reasat said she’s noticed that customers are appreciative of the spaciousness that came with the new store layout, saying products were now easier to find.
The new bakery range has also been a hit with customers, along with the renewed focus on food. The ‘red’ food zone includes a new hot pastry cabinet, the Krispy Kreme doughnut cabinet and the sandwich fridge which Resat said are all very appealing to customers.
The coffee zone in the Clarence Street store has also seen an upgrade.
Resat said customers love the new coffee zone with three coffee machines which equates to less wait time during rush hours. Customers can easily get their caffeine fix in a much shorter amount to time than in previous times with only one or two machines.
In conversation with 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay told C&I that the company sells a lot of coffee and is aware of that the product and offer are unique in its own right.
“It is good coffee and it is a good offer, so that is our general marketing message,” Mr McKay said.
“The core issue for us is actually making sure that stores can cope with that kind of volume,” he said.
“We have some stores that have still only got one machine, and we know the math of what a machine is capable of doing, we know what the customer wants in terms of service expectation which is how long they wait for a cup of coffee.”
Resat said the new look store has a wider variety on offer within the foodservice means that people come for breakfast from the bakery and the coffee machines.
“They come during lunch for hot pastry and a sandwich,” she said.
“There are many regular customers who come almost two-to-three times every day at different parts of the day for the different offers. Some even have their favourite product which they come to purchase every day.
“For my store, morning is the busiest time, mainly for coffee and breakfast items. Followed by lunch and then during late afternoon for drinks and tobacco.
“There has also been a slight increase on the weekend traffic for foodservice and drinks on Saturday and Sunday lunch.
“The location of the store is very prominent, on the corner of two busy streets, next to a station.
Owning a small business
Resat is just one of many Franchisees who run their own small business. However, she said it never feels like she’s on her own due to the support that she receives.
Resat credits the smooth running of her business 24/7, 365 days, to the support system that comes from the 7-Eleven organisation.
“For instance, in any emergency or during any technical or maintenance issue, one call to 24/7 support ensures the issue is dealt with right away,” she said.
“And then there is the marketing, merchandising and business development matters which 7-Eleven provides direct assistance.”
“The one on one meeting with the Retail Business Manager to help grow the business and performance of the store means that I can focus on looking after my customers and develop the performance of my team.”
“To be honest, the best part of this business is that myself and 7-Eleven, we both are working together for a common goal.”
Marketing and exclusive products
One thing that 7-Eleven is known for, is its portfolio of new and exclusive products. Marketing helps to create excitement with customers, who then come to the store to try these new and exclusive products. A recent example is the Krispy Kreme Maxibon and Maxibon Krispy Kreme, which was distributed through 7-Eleven stores.