7-Eleven remodels 1,000-plus stores in four months
Dallas — 7-Eleven has completed upgrades in more than 1,000 of its stores in the greater New York City, Northern and Central New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. The company also is considering store-remodel programs in other parts of the United States.
The East Coast remodeling program ramped up in March, when the convenience retailer started adding revamped coffee bars, hot-foods equipment and, in some cases, updating stores’ interiors with new walls, floors, ceilings, lighting and fixtures. The initiative is part of chain’s campaign to present a consistent and fresh customer experience in each of its stores.
7-Elevan described the four-month construction schedule as being “somewhat of a logistical marvel.” Most stores remained open during the remodeling process, with each store upgrade taking no more than five days, actually nights, to avoid the heavier customer-traffic periods during the day. The schedule called for 60 stores to be renovated each week. In addition to various equipment improvements at 1,000-plus stores, 7-Eleven replaced floors, repaved parking lots or upgraded the exteriors of another 550 stores. Each renovation was planned to ensure continuity in look, product offering and convenience store-to-store.
While the construction project was underway, 7-Eleven employees in the affected stores received additional customer-service training to enhance their guests’ overall experience. The chain is promoting its new store upgrades with a media blitz that includes television and radio spots, outdoor and online advertising, and newspaper ads for free or fresh and hot foods offerings.
Old Navy closing in on 300th remodel; new design driving higher customer transaction
San Francisco — Old Navy will complete its 300th remodeled store in mid-July as it continues to overhaul its entire chain. The design has a racetrack layout and features improved visual merchandising with light wood and white shelving, walls and backdrops that spotlight the core Old Navy product categories. For more photos, click here.
“With almost a third of our fleet remodeled, we are well on our way to completing our vision of transforming Old Navy into what our customers want more of – a fun, convenient shopping experience that showcases our compelling products, all at great prices,” said Tom Wyatt, president of Old Navy. “These store designs more boldly reflect our personality; more clearly delineate our product categories and consistently outperform the rest of our fleet in sales, with higher customer experience scores in each new community driving her to spend $1-$2 extra per store visit.”
Other updated store features include moving the dressing rooms to center of store from the back, and closer to the cash wrap for more energy, ‘quick fit pods;’ additional associates for the fitting rooms and greeters during peak hours. The new stores also have an interactive play area for kids.
Old Navy integrated sustainable practices and features into each design, including low-wattage fluorescent lighting, low VOC paints, low water consumption plumbing fixtures, and recycled materials. The brand is also piloting a construction waste program to divert waste from landfills this year, with plans for this to be standard in most stores by 2012. To date, Old Navy has saved around $2 million a year by implementing low wattage fluorescent lighting in all remodeled stores.
Tesco scores big with virtual grocery stores in subway stations in South Korea
New York City — British retail giant Tesco Ltd. has broken new ground, creating virtual stores in subway stations in Seoul, South Korea, as a way to make grocery shopping more convenient for the city’s busy urban residents. Tesco launched the unique venture for its Homeplus chain, which operates 115 stores in South Korea. The virtual stores were created by Cheil Worldwide of Korea.
The product-less stores consist of photo images of grocery shelves and fresh and perishable food cases, which are designed to look just like those inside of a freestanding store. Shoppers walk up to the virtual store shelves, select what products they want to buy and then scan the product’s QR code with their smartphone. Once the QR code is scanned, the item goes into the shopper’s online grocery cart. Once the shopping is completed, the shopper requests a time for the groceries to be delivered. Click here to watch a video of how the store was created.
According to reports, the virtual grocery store has attracted more than 10,000 new customers and boosted Home Plus’s online sales by 130%. Tesco’s Homeplus is looking for other similar venues in South Korea to put the virtual stores.