7-Eleven Prepared for Christmas Day Rush

DALLAS -- Christmas comes once a year, and for 7-Eleven, that means its busiest sales day is growing near. Since 1963, 7-Eleven stores have kept around-the-clock hours, and today approximately 99 percent of the chain's more than 5,800 U.S. stores stay open on Dec. 25 for people who need to prepare a family recipe, wrap a last-minute present, shoot a baby's first Christmas picture or operate a new toy.

Among the more than 2,000 items shoppers can find at most 7-Eleven convenience stores on Christmas Day and throughout the holiday season are:

-- Coffee: When it's cold, coffee sales are hot. December is the top-selling coffee month, typically 40 percent higher than the sultry summer months, the retailer noted.

-- Candy: More than one-third of all boxed chocolates sales at 7-Eleven occur in November and December, making Christmas the third highest-selling candy holiday for the convenience store chain behind Halloween and Easter. 7-Eleven stocks many favorite Christmas candies, such as Dove dark-chocolate peppermint bark and traditional candy canes. Speaking of candy canes, 7-Eleven said it sells enough of the traditional peppermint treats for everyone in the state of Virginia to have one in their stocking.

-- Wine: December is the top-selling month for wine, and 20 percent of all champagne is sold in December. Last year, 7-Eleven sold enough champagne during December to provide a New Year's Eve glass to every adult in St. Louis, Mo. or Tampa, Fla.

-- Calling cards: 7-Eleven sells a lot of prepaid wireless phone cards, second only to mass retailers, and customers buy more phone cards in December than any other month. This year, 7-Eleven has a new $19.99 Verizon Smooth u350 model phone for just $19.99 that features a camera, blue-tooth capabilities and access to service from Verizon, the country's largest wireless carrier. In December 2008, 7-Eleven sold enough phone cards for a teenager to talk on the phone 24 hours a day for 12 years, the chain reported.

-- Chicken wings: The holiday season is party season, and 1,500 7-Eleven stores will be ready with a selection of hot foods. Buffalo wings, all-white-meat chicken wings and whole pizzas are cooked hot while customers wait -- in 90 seconds or less.

-- Big Bites: Surprisingly, Christmas Day is one of the busiest days for Big Bite hot dog sales for the convenience retailer. One of the only places open Christmas Day where one can grab a quick meal, 7-Eleven offers not only its popular Big Bite dogs, but also spicy Go-Go Taquitos, fresh-made sandwiches and nachos.

-- Movies: 7-Eleven has holiday and new-release DVDs for family viewing and gift-giving. The chain also sells eight sizes of batteries. Battery sales at 7-Eleven stores triple Christmas week, with the most popular batteries sold being AA.

-- Dairy: Whipping cream, sour cream and butter sales almost double the week before Christmas. In fact, Christmas week is the biggest week of the year for dairy sales, 25 percent higher than the year's biggest food holiday -- Thanksgiving.

-- Lottery. Company officials estimate that 7-Eleven sells more lottery tickets than any other retailer. December is one of the busiest months for lottery ticket sales, with people buying them for stocking stuffers, gifts and for themselves, of course.

-- Snacks: Snack foods such as chips, dips, canned nuts, cookies and crackers fly off the shelves during the holiday party and football season. Tortilla chips increase 20 percent during December and January. Likewise, nuts and crackers show sales increases between 25 and 30 percent. 7-Eleven has added a host of private-label snacks, including kettle-style potato chips, popcorn and nuts, which have shown significant month-to-month sales increases since being introduced a year ago, according to the retailer.

-- Bread: Sales of dinner rolls rise four times the week before Christmas and a remarkable 14 times on Christmas Day. Sliced bread sales more than double on Christmas Day.

-- Music: Sales of iTunes gift cards crank up approximately 400 percent in December. This year, participating 7-Eleven stores also are carrying a limited selection of holiday CDs in both contemporary and traditional styles.

Based in Dallas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses roughly 7,900 7-Eleven stores in North America, and globally, more than 36,900 stores in 15 countries.

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