Convenience Stores Fill Unique Niche As Essential Businesses During Pandemic Era
7-Eleven, after more than a year of planning, has opened a location at The Palisades Center and the timing could not be better. Convenience stores – essential retailers during the coronavirus lockdown – have grown apace during pandemic, becoming go-tos for everything from food to hand sanitizer.
The 7-Eleven, which opened Wednesday and is located on level one near Best Buy, is among several mall locations 7-Eleven plans to open in the future.
Nationwide, 7-Eleven is seeking to hire an additional 20,000 employees to keep up with continued demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
New hires, which will fill positions across more than 9,000 U.S. stores, will also help with orders through the company’s 7NOW delivery app, which has seen an uptick in orders since the pandemic hit the country earlier this month, the company announced Monday.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s largest convenience retail chain added frictionless mobile checkout technology, expanded delivery from 400 to 1,300 cities and grew its U.S. store base by more than 300.
Since then, the company — including its independent 7-Eleven franchise owners — has hired more than 50,000 workers to assist in its operations throughout the pandemic.
7-Eleven Inc. is a Japanese-owned American international convenience chain headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd., operates, franchises, and licenses. The Texas-based company operates, franchises and/or licenses in more than 71,100 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.
The 3,500-square-foot Palisades Center store, open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday, includes the brand’s new expanded hot and cold beverage menu, with the addition of touch-screen machines that brew custom hot coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots in just seconds.
“We strive to provide our guests with a great shopping experience,” said Darrin Houseman, General Manager of Palisades Center. “The addition of 7-Eleven gives guests a quick place to recharge so they can continue shopping and having fun.”
According to Nielsen, convenience stores, considered “essential businesses” by the U.S. government, will grow faster than all other offline channels over the next five years. Convenience stores are increasingly offering fresh food-to-go and evening meal options to entice customers and to increase their revenues. Convenience stores typically are located close to consumers’ homes and tend to have smaller crowds than supermarkets or hypermarkets. Sales of household items such as fresh meats, cleaning supplies, baking staples, and others have seen an upward trend in the convenience stores market since mid-March.
According to a 2018 NACS consumer survey, particularly in smaller towns, 8 in 10 rural Americans (86%) said that a convenience store was within 10 minutes of their homes.
There has been a significant shift in consumer demand, with demand spikes for essential products such as sanitizers, masks, long-lasting food items, consumer packaged goods (CPG), shelf-stable items, etc.
The global convenience, mom and pop stores market is expected to grow from $960.8 billion in 2019 to $1,021.3 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7%. Growth in the forecast period can be attributed to technological advances such as POS (point-of-sale) technology, beacons, robotics, automation and augmented reality, and the growing consumer preference for shopping local.
“It’s exciting to see another business opening their doors at Palisades Center,” said Donald Franchino, Clarkstown Councilman. “7-Eleven is a marketplace leader in convenience store retailing and their strategic decision to open their new concept store at Palisades Center is just one example that shows how viable the center is for the local economy.”