Pushing Ahead With Classy Makeover, 7-Eleven Sells Fine Wine
Slide over, Slurpee. Convenience franchise 7-Eleven has added premium wines to store shelves in its latest move to appeal to a younger crowd.
7-Eleven has, for awhile, sold wines priced at less than $5 a bottle. However, now the franchise is now adding selections priced at about $20. Almost 700 7-Eleven stores are stocking the wine across 16 states.
The chain will also offer wines priced from $20 to $55 in 300 stores during the holiday months of November and December.
“Even in a tight economy, people are splurging on higher quality wine or craft beer to treat themselves,” said Alan Beach, a 7-Eleven vice president of merchandising, in a statement earlier today. “We have seen strong customer response to our offers of premium and super-premium wine in our stores.”
The convenience chain has apparently been convinced to up their wine supply by baby boomers and millennials. According to a 2012 report by the Wine Market Council, the U.S. is the top wine consuming country with an estimated 100 million wine drinkers. Millennials drink more than their share compared to other age groups, as a glass of wine has become a standard part of weeknight dinners as much as traditional weekend get-togethers.
This is not the first time that 7-Eleven has looked to expand beyond Slurpees and hot dogs. Last month, the store announced plans to add healthier snacks such as dry roasted edamame and veggie chips to its product offerings.
Keeping with the chain’s updates, a New York City location recently revealed a new, modernized logo and a more spacious, bright interior. However, a spokesperson for 7-Eleven reports the “location in Manhattan is neither a prototype or a promise.”
The chain has thus far maintained that changes have been driven by the demands of consumers, not efforts to give 7-Eleven a makeover. However, with healthy snacks and pricey wine, 7-Eleven seems to be looking to refresh its reputation. The question remains – will the gamble of reinvention pay off?
Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor.