Convenience Stores Seek Hot New Brands to Dampen Threat of Delivery


Convenience store retailer 7-Eleven is giving up-and-coming brands an opportunity to grow and be put on its store shelves through the annual Brands with Heart initiative, according to a Monday (May 9) press release that kicks off the application process, which runs through the end of the month.

It’s part of a growing push to make shopping even more convenient, a trend that was highlighted last week when Unilvever announced plans to roll out The Ice Cream Shop, a mobile store offering Unilever ice cream brands, including Ben & Jerry’s, Talenti and Breyers, in the Los Angeles area. Gopuff, Instacart and other quick delivery services have also increased in popularity.

As for Brands with Heart, the program gives brands the chance to introduce their products in 7-Eleven, Speedway and Stripes locations across the U.S. and the program is open to companies with snacks, beverages, confections and healthy items, whether they’re ready to go now or still in development.

Some applicants will be invited to participate in in-store tests in their region, with fan favorites from each market getting spots in the Brands with Heart showcase in front of company leaders, who will offer coaching, mentoring and training to help them develop a national following for their products.

“The Brands with Heart showcase attracts hundreds of applicants from up-and-coming brands each year and gives us the unique opportunity to scope out new products that might make the perfect addition to our stores’ shelves — such as Lemon Perfect, which was discovered during our 2019 Brands with Heart event,” 7-Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Jack Stout said in the company press release.

“It is our mission to help these rising brands grow, and we’re excited to see … and taste … the many innovative products that participate,” he said.

Related: Walmart Marketplace Launches New-Seller Savings

Last month, Walmart unveiled New-Seller Savings, a limited-time Walmart Marketplace promotion that’s exclusive to new sellers. Sellers who join Walmart Marketplace by May 31 and start selling on by June 30 will get a 50% discount on commission rates for the first 90 days.

Walmart has also extended its Walmart Fulfillment Services Intro Offer incentive for sellers who want to access Walmart’s low-cost fulfillment option. Approved sellers that enroll in WFS and complete the setup process and inbound one item to Walmart’s fulfillment center by June 30 earn 90 days of free storage and a 10% discount on fulfillment fees.