The newest 24/7 offering from 7-Eleven Inc. is an online store curated with licensed gear and memorabilia.
The convenience giant is launching 7Collection, an online merchandise shop featuring exclusive apparel and accessories, such as vintage tees and hats.
7-Eleven is kicking off the shop with two merchandise drops. The Cars of 7-Eleven Collectionfeatures an assortment aimed at automotive enthusiasts and the #CarsOf7ELEVEn hashtag. Products include a trucker hat, car decal, and a coffee-scented air freshener. And the Slurpee Collection encompasses both retro and modern Slurpee drink apparel, accessories and collectibles.
"Over the past 95 years, 7-Eleven has become more than just a convenience store. It's a destination for snacking, a photoshoot backdrop, a music video stage, a haven for car lovers – and an essential staple in our customers' lives," said Marissa Jarratt, 7-Eleven executive VP and chief marketing officer. "We hope this swag serves as another reminder to our customers that we're always here to help make their day a little more awesome."
For the first seven days of operation, customers will receive 11% off all 7Collection items using the code 7Collection11.
Fast food retailers pioneer online merchandise stores
7-Eleven’s new digital licensed merchandise venture follows in the footsteps of a number of retailers in the fast food vertical. Fast food chains including Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, White Castle, and Arby’s have all opened online shops selling branded merchandise.
Dunkin’ launched its first online shop, as part of its holiday promotional strategy, in November 2019. According to the retailer, much of that store’s assortment sold out within hours. At both Dunkin’ and most other fast food chains, online merchandise shops have only operated during the end-of-year holiday season.
However, McDonald’s bucked that trend by opening its year-round “Golden Arches Unlimited” online merchandise store in December 2019 (timed for the holidays). The store features different seasonal pieces. Since the 1980s, McDonald’s has partnered with multiple fashion brands and retailers, and beginning in 2017, the company launched its own limited-time line of merchandise through the McDelivery Collection.
Like McDonald’s, 7-Eleven is positioning its licensed merchandise e-commerce venture as a year-round offering. Whether seasonal or year-round, these types of online stores offer retailers several benefits. In many cases, retailers can outsource the production of merchandise to third-party specialists, easing the pressure on already stained supply chain systems.
In addition, retailers can easily go “viral” with news about their online merchandise shops with a clever image and hashtag that capture current social media trends, lessening the expense of promoting these storefronts.
And non-traditional retail has become the norm. Celebrities, consumer brands, and media properties such as TV shows, films and musical groups are all now engaging in direct-to-consumer retailing. In this environment, there is nothing odd or “off-brand” about a convenience chain such as 7-Eleven selling apparel and accessories.
Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 13,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, 7-Eleven Inc. operates and franchises Speedway, Stripes, Laredo Taco Company, and Raise the Roof Chicken and Biscuits locations.