​7-Eleven Opens Lab Stores in Two More Markets

IRVING, Texas — Following the successful opening of its beta Evolution Store, 7-Eleven Inc. is expanding its retail footprint by bringing the concept to two additional markets.

The Evolution Store was introduced to the Dallas market last March. It serves as a real-time experiential testing ground where customers can sample and purchase its latest innovations in a new store format.

Now, the convenience store retailer is introducing the lab store concept to the Washington, D.C., and San Diego markets. The latter will open in the coming months.

"7-Eleven's mission is to give convenience customers what they want, when and where they want it," said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joseph DePinto. "Our evolution stores bring outstanding innovation to life through new food and beverage platforms as well as through digital experiences."

The first Evolution Store exceeded the retailer's expectations with enthusiastic reviews, crowds of customers and sales that continue to climb, according to 7-Eleven. Concepts that resonate with consumers are refined before being incorporated into the next generation of current and new store standards.

"These new stores are invaluable learning labs, where new concepts are tailored to meet the needs of the communities they will serve from sunny southern California to the fast-paced world of the East Coast," said 7-Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco. "We will continue to evolve based on customer feedback and we look forward to creating the next generation of convenience together."

In addition to featuring a Laredo Taco Company restaurant, 7-Eleven Evolution Stores offer an assortment of exclusive products, services and features customized to the neighborhoods and customers they serve, including:

  • Made-to-order specialty drinks, from hot coffee drinks like flavored lattes, mochas and more to custom cold drinks like smoothies, agua frescas and cold brew coffee.
  • Self-serve specialty coffee drinks with the addition of touch-screen machines that brew custom hot coffee drinks — such as lattes, cappuccinos, espresso shots and more — in seconds.
  • Novelty beverages on tap.
  • Cold treats bar with multiple frozen yogurt and ice cream that can be swirled to create new flavors with multiple toppings.
  • Cookies, croissants and pastries baked fresh in store daily.
  • Mobile Checkout — Customers can skip the checkout counter and pay for their purchases via the 7-Eleven app and accompanying 7Rewards loyalty program.
  • 7NOW Delivery App — The on-demand delivery app allows customers to get products delivered straight to their door.
  • National brand electronics such as tablets and Bluetooth headphones available for sale from a secure, self-serve kiosk.
  • On-the-go beauty with expanded skin care, makeup and other health and beauty items.
  • "The Cellar," an alcove dedicated to an expanded selection of wines and craft beers, with a nearby growler station that features a rotating selection of local craft beer, cider and ales on tap. (The Washington, D.C., location does not include this feature.)

Laredo Taco Company is known for its authentic tacos served on handmade flour tortillas that are made from scratch in stores every day and fresh salsa bar with a wide selection of salsas and pico de gallo. Tacos and meals include specialties not always seen in quick-serve Mexican restaurants such as authentic barbacoa, chorizo, carne asada, carnitas and breakfast tacos made with fresh-cracked eggs.

7-Eleven acquired the Laredo Taco Company restaurants along with Stripes convenience stores in South Texas as part of the 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.

The Irving-based retailer plans to continue to expand Evolution Stores across the country in 2020.

7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 70,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.