7-Eleven to Open Six New Stores in Metro Detroit

DETROIT -- 7-Eleven Inc. plans to open six new Metro Detroit stores in the next month as part of its plan to expand in urban areas where the chain already has a strong presence, The Detroit News reported.

The new stores in Southfield, Farmington, Livonia, Warren and Eastpointe, Mich., will further solidify the region as one of 7-Eleven's most successful markets. Metro Detroit has more than 200 locations and is the highest-selling market for the retailer's popular < a href="http://www.csnews.com/search-slurpee.html">Slurpee beverage, the report stated.

"We already have a significant presence here," 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told the newspaper. "We've built a following and a big fan base."

7-Eleven succeeds in working-class areas such as Metro Detroit because it's more accessible than many grocery stores, and cleaner and safer than nearby party stores, according to Ken Dalto, a retail analyst in Farmington Hills, Mich.

"The key is being in the blue-collar areas of town," he said. "Those areas are under-served by big chains. But the fact of life is that poor people have to live as well, and need the necessities of life. Somebody has to serve that market."

7-Eleven's convenient locations at hundreds of corners around the city make it an easy choice for consumers who have limited transportation and "can't get around," Dalto added. Especially for families with only one car, when the father goes to work, the mother is stuck at home taking care of the kids and can't go across the city to find a grocery store. But she can walk down the street to 7-Eleven, according to Dalto. The store also has many locations near high schools, so it has become a popular hangout for students, he noted.

Chabris said it all comes down to the location of the stores. "By adding more stores, 7-Eleven continues to be more accessible," she said. "It's all about being convenient for the customer."

7-Eleven also sells a variety of low-priced products for customers concerned with value. Its 300 or so generic brand products, known as 7-Select, are 10 percent to 20 percent less expensive.

"We give customers a choice," Chabris told the newspaper. "If they're loyal to a brand, that's fine. But we find in these recessionary times, they want value."

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