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The Genius of 7-Eleven

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My better 2/3rds often says my car has a special device that doesn’t let it drive past a 7-Eleven. That may be so. I love 7-Eleven. It used to be pretty scummy, but under the current Japanese ownership, it grows more impressive by the day.

Lately, I have been enthused about their creation of so many branded products. What genius! They get quality control, increased profits, more exposure to their brand, and price points that are often below the nationally-branded products that they carry. In some locales, they even stock proprietary beer.

I was thinking about them this morning because Burger reporter Kayoumin’s (if the idea of French love songs in Mandarin intrigues you, check out Kayoumin’s music!) blast from Taipei also included a shot of 7-Eleven Hot Dogs (below). Taiwan is about 1/4 the size of Iowa, in square miles. yet they have 4,000 7-Eleven stores! FOUR THOUSAND! That’s a lot of Big Gulps!

I’m not sure how many 7-Elevens there are in Iowa, but New Orleans has zip. May be the real reason I had to leave.

I did a post the other day on some 7-Eleven’s adding 24 hour hot food, like pizza, and wings. “Ready-to-eat” is one of the fastest growing grocery categories, so this makes sense, especially when you have competing fast foods in the same neighborhood adding all sorts of adjunct offerings, like Subway having breakfast, and the “Hut” (nee Pizza Hut) adding wings and pasta.

At a 9.99 flat price for pizza, 7-Eleven’s wouldn’t have to be all that grand in order to make a dent in local pizzerias, and one only need look at gas station pizza “franchises” like Hunt Brothers (6,000 outlets currently) to see what the market potential is. How many 7-Elevens worldwide you ask? Over 30,000; 5,000 in the US alone, of which about 80% are franchised operations.

Japanese business excels at taking US “inventions” and marketing them well (like the video tape recorder). It’s always fascinating to watch what they do with their acquisitions. It’s going to be fun to see 7-Eleven continue to evolve.

Map of 7-Eleven in Taiwan


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