There is a large concentration of customers in these areas, and it makes sense to go where the customers are, said 7-Eleven regional development manager Grant Distel. There is an opportunity for us there.
At an average of 1,800 square feet, the compact urban stores are not only about half the size of the boxy suburban stores, but they also boast more-sophisticated design and finishes tailored to fit into the surroundings. That usually means discreet signage, butcher-shop-style tiles or wood on the interior walls, and architectural pendant lights, Distel and company spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said.
They much more reflect that cosmopolitan feel, especially in Miami, Distel said. You will find that every one looks just a little bit different.
The South Beach store, for instance, on Washington Avenue at 14th Street, is making use of the travertine flooring and mosaic tiling that was already in the space, Chabris said.
Whats sold in the urban shops, meanwhile, represents a paring-down of the typical suburban 7-Elevens offerings, with slight variations according to location and clientele, and even what special events are going on downtown on a given day. Stores catering to office workers largely skip selling pet food, for example.
All have selections of fresh salads, fruit, pastries, pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, plus American coffee (the cappucino comes from a machine). Not to mention bags of chips, jerky, grilled hot dogs. And, natch, Slurpees.
When the Ultra music festival rolls around in March, Distel said, the Biscayne Boulevard store will stock up on extra water and soft drinks, and the stuff people dont think about, like Chapstick and sunblock.
7-Eleven is not the only convenience-store chain to open downtown, nor is it the first.
A Stop n Shop opened on Northeast Second Avenue at First Street last year. Thats a block south of Abrols new store, where he says hot foods like pizza and chicken wings, all fresh, good quality, have been his big sellers.
The Stop n Shops fresh-food offerings are limited to empanadas and pastelitos. But they do have something Texas-based 7-Eleven does not: Cuban coffee from a real espresso machine.