7-Eleven Creates an Experiential Testing Ground
Equipped with a taqueria and growler station as well as new technology, 7-Eleven's new "lab store" in Dallas is not your average convenience store. Opened last month, the location serves as an experiential testing ground where shoppers can try and buy the retailer’s latest innovations.
"The industry is changing at a faster rate than ever before,” said Chris Tanco, 7-Eleven's executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a media release. “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.”
P2PI recently visited the location, which is the first of six test stores the Irving, TX-based retailer plans to open in the U.S., according to the Oak Cliff Advocate. It is also one of the multiple locations where the retailer has introduced new "Scan & Pay" tech that allows shoppers to scan and pay for eligible items using the 7-Eleven mobile application, and skip the checkout line.
"We built our own tech that replaces that individual interaction," 7-Eleven vice president of digital customer experience Tarang Sethia told ShopTalk attendees last month. "It’s a checkout station which talks to the cloud … it also helps the store associate know that the customer has paid. But more importantly — which was a revelation for us — it makes sure that the customer feels safe and comfortable and not judged whether he or she has paid or not."
In-store violators, cooler clings and floorstands tout the technology, which generates a QR code that shoppers wave over a scanner stationed on their way out the door — and strategically placed in a location visible to the cashier — to confirm the sale. "We've launched it in Dallas and we're planning to scale it this year to the rest of the country," Sethia said.
Visit P2PI to see what else is new in the lab store and view the full gallery.