7-Eleven Singapore convenience stores are about to have a makeover, with some of them being enlarged by 30 per cent to offer freshly prepared meals and seating.
COO Steven Lye says the chain will stock premium products, introduce seating areas and create a range of fresh-chilled, ready-to-eat meals delivered to the store daily.
“We want to convey the message that we are no longer just a place for small needs. We want to be at the top of our customers’ minds,” says Lye.
As well as the ready-to-eat meals, the expanded and elevated product range includes lifestyle items and even IT gadgets. The stores are also adding 7-Connect lockers, self-collection stations where parcels from online shopping can be picked up, and cash-withdrawal machines.
In July, 7-Eleven invested S$350,000 (US$247,384) in a branding campaign with the tagline “There’s Always 7-Eleven”, seeking to shift customer perception of its outlets from that of a stop for basic needs to a one-stop shop for groceries, toiletries, bill payments, cash withdrawals and more.
“To accommodate the extensive additions, future 7-Eleven stores will have an area of about 800 sqft [74 sqm] where possible.”
Vary by location
He says the items sold at each store will depend on its location. Those in tourist areas such as Marina Bay and Orchard Road will stock backpacks, suitcases and souvenirs while its Marine Parade outlet near East Coast Park will sell kites.
Tech developments are also in the pipeline, says Lye. One is a loyalty app, 7-Rewards, set to roll out next year. Another new service is the 7-Connect Kiosk, a self-help machine for quicker bill payments. Also, 7-Eleven counters will accept wave-payment methods such as Android Pay, Apple Pay and Visa Paywave.
“As a brand, we understand the importance of keeping up with the times and constantly evaluating the needs of customers, hence we have made a conscious effort to innovate,” says Lye.
He says the new range of meals, prepped and delivered upon order to ensure freshness, will replace the store’s frozen-thaw meals by the first quarter of next year.
“The tech behind the fresh-chilled meals is a strong value proposition we are introducing to the market,” says Lye. “Over the past 18 months we have embarked on a strategy to take these ready-to-eat meals to a whole new level.”
Flavours will include Hainanese chicken rice, braised duck rice, butter chicken biryani as well as three flavours of Japanese pastas. By next year there will be more than 40 choices.
Run by Dairy Farm Group, 7-Eleven Singapore has a network of more than 430 outlets.