The concept of convenience stores was born in 1927 when Jefferson Green started selling milk, bread, and eggs from the Southland Ice plant in Dallas, Texas where he was an employee in order to make them available to the ice customers who found it convenient to buy some grocery staples while doing their ice-buying errand. Joe Thompson, Jr. saw the opportunity in Green’s idea and began selling grocery staples at eight other ice plants and 21 ice docks.
The Southland Ice docks started selling gasoline in 1928, and offered drive-thru curbside service for groceries and ice. The original name for these Southland “convenience” stores was Tote’m stores. The 7-Eleven name was used in 1946 when the standard operating hours for the stores changed to 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM. The first 7-Eleven to stay open for 24 hours was located in Austin, Texas and catered to a college town customer base.
The first international 7-11 convenience store was opened on June 29, 1969 in Calgary, Alberta. The franchise model was adopted in the same year.
7-Eleven is credited for starting and/or branding these retail trends and self-service practices:
- Self-service gasoline
- Self-service soda fountains
- First convenience store to do TV advertising
- To-go coffee in to-go cups
- Extra large (Big Gulp) sized beverages
- ATM services on-site
- Bill payment services on-site
Headquarters for 7-Eleven Convenience Stores:
The headquarters for parent company Seven & I Holdings are located in Tokyo, Japan. The U.S. headquarters for 7-Eleven are located in the same city where the convenience store concept was born.
The Mission Statement, Brand Vision, and Values of 7-Eleven Convenience Stores:
The mission statement of 7-Eleven convenience stores is focused not on what it sells or how much it sells, but rather on the 7-Eleven customer experience, and how that can impact a customer’s day. The mission statement of the 7-Eleven retail chain is:
”At 7-Eleven, our purpose and mission is to make life a little easier for our guests by being where they need us, whenever they need us.”
Additionally, the 7-Eleven chain has an official corporate Vision:
"Our Vision Is to Be the Best Retailer of Convenience. Being the best at what we do means each 7-Eleven employee has a chance to brighten someone’s day and make life a little easier, whether it is service with a smile in the store or ensuring we have the freshest food available, day in and day out.”
To support and deliver its mission and vision, 7-Eleven focuses its leaders on creating a “Servant Leadership Culture”:
"Our Servant Leadership Culture Helps Us Realize Our Vision and Achieve Our Daily Mission. Our culture encourages us to work as a team, recognize outstanding performance, do our best and be accountable to each other. We are committed to serving our guests, our co-workers and the communities in which we operate."
Click here for more about the 7-Eleven Mission, Vision and Culture >>
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