7-Eleven Reaches Halfway Point in Wilson Farms Conversions
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- 7-Eleven is more than halfway finished converting 188 Wilson Farms stores to its banner following the 2011 purchase of the western New York-based convenience store chain, reports The Buffalo News.
The transition has been a careful one, more of a merger than a takeover, according to the report. "Wilson Farms had a really loyal customer base for years," Mark Senay, local director of operations for 7-Eleven, told the news outlet. "And they have been responsive to what we've done. The guests are really excited about the new products and the changes. Business is going well."
7-Eleven has retained Wilson Farms' focus on groceries and allowed the converted stores to retain a familiar feel post-transition. "What we've tried to do is bring the best of both companies in," added Senay, a western New York native. "Things that did really well for Wilson Farms we've kept and added in 7-Eleven's products."
Prior to the acquisition, 7-Eleven operated only 21 locations in the Buffalo and Rochester markets, some of which were franchises. All its newly converted stores are corporate operated.
To date, 79 of the 98 Wilson Farms stores in western New York have been remodeled with new lighting, counters, floors, equipment and other upgrades, according to the report. They now operate 24 hours per day and offer signature 7-Eleven products such as Slurpees and Big Gulps.
The converted stores have retained existing customers as well as attracted new ones, said Pat Sheridan, 7-Eleven's marketing manager for western New York.
"Wilson Farms delivered certain products to a certain demographic, and 7-Eleven is delivering different products to a different demographic," said Sheridan. "Since we've kept the best of Wilson Farms and now have all the great 7-Eleven products we never had before, we've kept the loyal customers and brought in new customers."