7-Eleven, the c-store perhaps most synonymous with late-night snacking, appears to be heading down a route well-traversed by some of grocery's biggest players. This week, the mega-chain announced it is launching a cashierless store at its corporate headquarters, leading us here at DMN to wonder if 7-Eleven is positioning itself to take on non-traditional grocery formats.
"Retail technology is evolving at a rapid pace and customer expectations are driving the evolution," said President and Chief Executive Officer, Joe DePinto. "Our team is dedicated to continuing 7-Eleven's legacy of innovation with industry-leading digital solutions. Most recently that has included our award winning 7Rewards loyalty platform, 7NOW on-demand delivery, mobile checkout, and now our new cashierless store."
7-Eleven's latest move appears to take a page out of Amazon's book. When the e-tailer first launched its Amazon Go format in 2016, it qualified it as the shopping format of the future. Four years down the road, many other retailers have flocked to the concept, as convenience continues to blend with the fresh-focused world of the industry. 7-Eleven's cashier less concept builds off of Amazon's, allowing shoppers to walk in, grab what they need, and walk back out. In this day and age, being able to capture the busiest consumer is the way to capture a better bottom line.
"Ultimately, our goal is to exceed consumers' expectations for faster, easier transactions and a seamless shopping experience," said Mani Suri, 7-Eleven Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. "Introducing new store technology to 7-Eleven employees first has proven to be a very productive way to test and learn before launching to a wider audience. They are honest and candid with their feedback, which enables us to learn and quickly make adjustments to improve the experience. This in-house, custom built technology by 7-Eleven engineers is designed for our current and future customers. We continue to innovate, and coupling fresh, innovative, healthy food options with a frictionless shopping experience could be a game-changer."
As consumers continue to demand more fresh options, it stands to reason that this game-changing new format has the potential to shake up—and add to—suppliers’ list of customers. And as it does so, you can count on Deli Market News to continue to report on the evolving retail space.