Sunday, April 26, 2015

Is 7-Eleven Evolving the Big Gulp into “Club 7-Eleven”?

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® regularly states “customers are dynamic not static and brands must be as well”.  7-Eleven is a dynamic company, filled with customer relevance and evolving as fast or faster than most food retailers in the world.  That is the key reason 7-Eleven has over 55,800 locations around the world and continues to grow.

Sarah Baird is a writer and culinary anthropologist wrote an article in an online magazine called PUNCH about 7-Eleven I was captivated.  (Illustration above from PUNCH by Sayada Ramdial)  Baird, wrote on the growth and expanding phenomenon that is “Club 7-Eleven”.   7-Eleven is doing things right.

 “Club 7-Eleven” is simply put the outcrop of customer migration.  Driven largely as a byproduct of Hong Kong’s lax liquor laws and exorbitant drink prices;   7-Eleven’s have become the hottest new hangouts in Hong Kong's nightlife epicenter” according to Baird.   

Here is some of how Baird described it;” in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s pulsating, nightlife epicenter, 7-Eleven convenience stores (yes, home of the Big Gulp) are hotbeds of Gucci-clad nighthawk activity, each franchised outpost a miniature social club for the hard-partying masses.”…

Baird continued: “My friends—and almost everyone—call them ‘Club 7s’ or ‘Club 7-Elevens,’” says Charlene Dawes, co-owner of a Hong Kong cocktail empire that includes Quinary, Origin and The Envoy. “People drink there before or after the clubs because it’s so much cheaper than getting a drink anywhere else in Lan Kwai Fong. Plus, you can just spill out into the street.… For better or worse, booze regulations in Hong Kong are so laid back they’re practically horizontal.”…

“Everything about this Club 7-Eleven culture is indicative of a curious duality that runs much deeper than 7-Eleven’s new day and night personas” Clearly Baird understands the complexity and opportunity day-parts present Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food retail operators.  It’s not just about liquor here it is about understanding your target market and adapting to an evolving market place. 

In our Omni-channel retail world focusing on new points of distribution is critical.  However operators should include focusing expanding sales / menu mix by day-part more often even if it may seem counterintuitive to your core brand day message. Remember tonight’s late night customer may be your day customer in a year or two.  Building Top Line Sales and Bottom Line Profits for Today and Tomorrow is our success clue for today.  

Are you interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information. 

1 comment:

  1. Evolving brand, or taking advantage! A lot of the action and people-watching in the Central District of Hong Kong (HKG), and in particular the night spots of Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) and SoHo (SH), happens at the street level. All of the 7-11's in HKG are owned by the same entity - Dairy Farm - which in turn is owned by Jardine's, who own 'HKG Land' the largest landlord in the area, except [that is] for the more 'hip-drinking-joints' in LKF and SH... All 7-11 HKG is doing, is taking advantage of their position on the periphery of the area, to sell cheap[er] booze to cash-strapped youth looking to get merry, before they move in to the bars and the more expensive tariffs... Basically, 7-11 is taking advantage of a loophole in local HKG law, whereby they sell alcohol without having the hassle of having to apply for a liquor or entertainment license, unlike the venues around them...