Everything’s supposed to be bigger in Texas, but what about more innovative? Convenience retailer 7-Eleven® is bringing a new store concept to the Lone Star State, and it didn’t come to play. The new lab store will house a slew of exciting products and features that the company hopes will elevate the convenience retail market and entice consumers.
“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, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, in a press release. “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 set to open in Dallas, Texas, on March 22, and is already building buzz for its revolutionary format. The store will have made-to-order smoothies and agua frescas, a growler refill station for local craft beers, street tacos on handmade tortillas, baked-in-store cookies and croissants, and a patio and inside dining area. The store will also feature digital initiatives that will enhance the shopping experience with Scan & Pay technology, allowing customers to skip the checkout line and pay for purchases via smartphone.
Undoubtedly, one of the big draws will be the tacos and the fresh tortillas that envelop them (at least it would be for me). The lab store will be the first 7-Eleven store to incorporate the Laredo Taco Company® taqueria, and the first Laredo Taco Company location in Dallas. The taqueria was acquired along with Stripes® convenience stores in South Texas as part of a 1,000 store acquisition from Suncoco in 2018. The Laredo Taco company will offer up more than just handmade tortillas, but also a salsa bar, and specialties like carne guisada, carnitas, barbacoa, picadillo bistec, and breakfast tacos.
While many of the new items in the lab store are available for a limited-time, the new concept is still an exciting step in the direction of convenience store innovation.
“A lot has changed in retail and continues to change rapidly, especially the shopping experience,” said Tanco. “This lab store is customer-focused and will explore new ideas that weren’t even on the retail radar a few months ago.”
Will this new lab store be the future of convenience retail? Keep reading Deli Market News for all the updates.