With a recently opened “lab store” in Dallas, 7-Eleven is allowing customers to test out and purchase the newest innovations from the retailer. The location has technology that lets shoppers use their phones for payments and stocks products that range from craft beers to handmade tortillas, Chain Store Age reported.
7‑Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco said in an announcement, “7‑Eleven stays at the forefront by pushing the boundaries and being unafraid to try new things.” Tanco continued, “This new lab store will serve as a place to test, learn and iterate new platforms and products to see what really resonates with customers and how we can use those learnings to influence future store designs.”
The store, for instance, has a taqueria from the Laredo Taco Company. That firm makes tortillas in its stores from scratch on a daily basis. It also includes a space dubbed “The Cellar” that has a craft beer and wine selection along with a growler refill station. In addition, the store has a bar for cold treats such as ice cream and frozen yogurt.
The news comes as 7-Eleven was rolling out scan-and-go options for customers in 14 stores in Dallas per reports in November and was looking to equip all of its stores in the U.S. with the innovation. Through the 7-Eleven mobile app’s Scan & Pay feature, shoppers could scan merchandise they want to buy. At the same time, the app is connected with the 7Rewards loyalty program to enable shoppers to be alerted to discounts and deals.
Some products, such as lottery tickets and tobacco, would still need human intervention. Gurmeet Singh, the chief digital officer for the Texas chain of convenience stores, said per a report in USA Today, “We’re always looking to innovate and disrupt.” Singh continued, “Customers are always on the go … How can we make every 7-Eleven a breeze? How can they move in and out faster?”