2024 Global Digital Shopping index

7-Eleven Takes on Restaurant Aggregators With Food Delivery App

7-Eleven

As convenience stores look to gain share of consumers’ meal spending from restaurants, 7-Eleven is building its in-house delivery app into a billion-dollar business.

On a call with analysts discussing its third-quarter fiscal 2023 earnings results, the convenience retail giant’s parent company, Seven & I Holdings, discussed its 7NOW delivery app’s growth and its efforts to supercharge the business going forward.

“We saw a strong 7NOW performance in 2023, with an average of $250 per store day in sales,” 7-Eleven President Stan Reynolds said on the call. “We project 7NOW as a $590 million business in 2023, so that’s up about 32% from the previous year, with plans to grow to $1 billion by 2025. We will build on this momentum, as we are a leader in the convenience store delivery space, allowing us to own delivery for immediate consumption.

Consumers use digital platforms to buy all the products they might get from a convenience store. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “Consumer Interest in an Everyday App,” which drew on responses from more than 2,200 U.S. consumers, revealed that 72% of those who had purchased nongrocery retail items in the previous month did so via connected devices at least some of the time. Plus, 60% of those who purchased food from a restaurant did the same, as did 61% of those who shopped for groceries.

7NOW, for its part, stands out among leading convenience store brands, marking the most ambitious effort to capture sales from platforms such as DoorDash and Gopuff. The retailer’s first-party delivery platform sells a variety of items ranging from beer to stomach relief tablets to laundry detergent, but the best-sellers are the chain’s hot food offerings — its pizzas, chicken wings and the like. As such, the retailer is gaining share from typical food delivery platforms.

In a presentation shared with analysts accompanying its earnings release, 7-Eleven added that one of its goals is to “expand restaurant delivery” and another, related goal is to “drive fresh food with 7NOW.”

The restaurant concepts from which the brand delivers include Laredo Taco Company, Raise the Roost and Speedy Café, as well as its own-brand pizza and wings.

There is opportunity for success in restaurant delivery. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “Connected Dining: Third-Party Restaurant Aggregators Keep the Young and Affluent Engaged,” based on a survey of more than 2,200 U.S. consumers, revealed that 40% used aggregators in the previous six months. That share jumped to 69% when looking at Gen Z consumers.

Overall, apps are playing a growing role in convenience retail. The PYMNTS Intelligence report “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization,” which drew from a survey of 300 large retailers in the United States and the United Kingdom, found that 72% of convenience retailers and pharmacies believe that consumers would be very or extremely likely to switch merchants if not provided mobile apps.

With its focus on expanding the 7NOW delivery app and capturing a larger share of the meal spending market, 7-Eleven is positioning itself as a leader in convenience store delivery, using the popularity of its hot food offerings and responding to consumer preferences for digital platforms.