Testing ground for innovation
All Evolution Stores include a restaurant concept, however no two locations are exactly alike. The company continues to fine-tune the design and offerings based on data gathered from customers feedback and shopping habits. Products and services are also customized to the communities and customers they serve: "The most popular features include self-serve specialty espresso coffee drinks, on-tap novelty beverages, cookies and croissants baked fresh in store, a wide selection of national brand skincare and makeup items, and the Wine Cellar and Beer Cooler, dedicated to an enhanced and expansive selection of wine and beer."
The Evolution Stores are a key testing ground for new drink concepts. Artisan craft sodas are popular, with flavours such as ginger beer, black cherry, pineapple coconut, diet key lime and diet cherry vanilla. Sparkling and still water flavours include, lemon ginger, strawberry rose, coconut lime, cucumber mint and mango. The store also offers smoothies and shakes, as well as customizable espresso drinks and cold brew coffee.
Skip the checkout
On the tech front, the new store is one of a growing number to offer mobile checkout and delivery. Members of the 7Rewards loyalty program can skip the checkout counter and pay for their purchases on their phone. In turn, the 7NOW delivery app also lets customers order products to be delivered straight to their door.
The company says safety is also top of mind with the new store: Efforts include, "enhanced its standards and procedures for hygiene, handwashing, sanitation, food handling and preparation in stores, including increased frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces and self-serve food and beverage areas." In addition to masks and gloves for store associates, acrylic shields have been installed at checkout registers. Customers also have access to disposable gloves, tissues and sanitizer stations while shopping.
Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 72,800 stores in 17 countries, including more than 630 corporate-owned stores in Canada.
Norm Hower, VP and general manager of 7-Eleven Canada, says the Evolution Store will make its way to Canada, eventually, though not likely in 2021.
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