A recent Convenience Store Decisions study of convenience store customers and their shopping habits showed that 7- Eleven truly is America's preferred convenience store. Customers listed several reasons for their fondness of 7-Eleven, ranging from proprietary products like the Slurpee, to the people behind the counter, to the consistency from store to store.
What also came through was a pervasive sense of nostalgia associated with shopping in 7-Eleven stores as children and evolving into 7-Eleven customers as adults. Today, many of those who participated in this study automatically think of 7-Eleven when they hear the term "convenience store."
The study, directed by branding agency CoyneBeahmShouse, asked customers questions focusing on a variety of subjects, like what they love about convenience stores, what improvements they would make to convenience stores and how would they react if for some reason they could no longer shop at their favorite convenience store. Here's what customers said about 7-Eleven.
"I would say 7-Eleven is my favorite convenience store. They are usually cleaner, have more variety and have reasonable prices. I'm always happy to see a 7-Eleven when I'm on the road. It's comforting to know what you are going to get when you go in there. Plus there is the Slurpee!! I'm pretty sure they put a special chemical in there that makes me dependent upon them."
"I frequent 7-Eleven for my coffee every morning because it is my favorite. I occasionally get a coffee at Dunkin' Donuts, but it's not the same. I haven't found a coffee yet at another convenience store that compares!"
"About eight years ago I re-introduced my brother to the world of Slurpees. He's been hooked ever since. Depending on the time of day we'll typically see the same people in 7-Eleven. A smile in passing is our way of acknowleding each other—we all know why we're there."
"The very first thought that came to mind in relation to convenience stores was 7-Eleven and Slurpees—love 'em."
"If they closed all the 7-Elevens, I would fall fast and deep into a pit of despair. There is no substitute for the Slurpee; every other frozen drink that tries to be a Slurpee is nothing but a utter dissapointment."
"In my earlier years, I would play softball tournaments a lot. We would frequently, on the way to the game, stop [at a 7-Eleven store] and buy some beer, ice it up and be on our way to the game. We got to know the workers real well, in particular a lady named Fran that would always be gracious and jovial as we sauntered into the store to get our beer. She would ask questions like, ‘Where are you playing this weekend?' She was one reason why we always frequented that particular 7-Eleven store."
"7-Eleven: It's a great one-stop shop for breakfast foods, lunch and dinner snacks if there's no time to eat; they always play good ‘elevator music'; and the people at 7-Eleven seem to be more happy than tired of being at work. The stores are also well cleaned."
"I remember going to the local 7-Eleven as early as five or six years old. I would have to save up enough money, and I'd go with my brother or friends. I would usually buy Slurpees, candy and baseball or movie cards, such as Star Wars. In the early 1980s, video games were everywhere. Some stores had machines such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. I was content to drink my Slurpee and watch the older kids play."
"My first memories of convenience stores involved getting Slurpees at 7-Eleven after begging my parents to take me there on the way home from places. It reminds me of being youthful."
"My girlfriends and I thought we were so cool being able to go to the 7-Eleven all by ourselves. We would go at least twice a day just because we could. We would always buy the biggest Slurpee they offered."
"I remember as a kid going to the local 7-Eleven and purchasing Slurpees and candy with my allowance. I always to my friends and we would take turns buying and sharing. Our favorite type of Slurpee was the featured flavor or mixing the cherry and Coke flavors. That was an ultimate weekend of joy."