“When most people think of convenience stores, the first name that pops into their heads is usually 7-Eleven. That’s probably because the Dallas, Texas-based chain operates, franchises, or licenses more than 7,600 stores in North America, making it the largest in the convenience retailing industry. Globally, 7-Eleven has an additional 35,000 stores in 16 countries, making it a ubiquitous part of many people’s lives, whether they are stopping in for a Slurpee, Big Gulp, coffee, or something from the store’s wide range of fresh food offerings. 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales close to $63 billion in 2010.” Defining the convenience store category, 7-Eleven has the daily challenge of offering hundreds of different products in their stores while maintaining fresh stock inventory. 7-Eleven’s latest step in providing customers what they want is item-by-item management.
“We are looking hard at what sells in stores,” says Eric Walters, network manager at 7-Eleven. “The success of our business transformation effort means greater collaboration between our franchisees and corporate headquarters. Using item-by-item management, rather than a replenishment model, allows our franchisees to limit the write-off for fresh food and increase sales and profitability.”
7-Eleven has long been an innovator in retail information systems. The company’s point of-sale touch-screen system includes integrated product scanning as well as credit, debit, and stored value card authorization. Managers use wireless handhelds to order products on a daily basis, and their ordering decisions are supported by 5 day weather forecasts, merchandise promotions, and historical sales information. Store managers can make delivery adjustments, verify orders, and perform write-offs on their handhelds. Back-office functions, such as sales and cash reporting and payroll, are connected directly to the company’s centralized accounting system.
7-Eleven has been a Juniper Networks and Pulse Secure customer for more than a decade, and when it came time to refresh the company’s in-store security and network infrastructure, Juniper Networks and Pulse Secure rose to the top of the list of preferred vendors. “We’ve had a very long and very valuable relationship with Pulse Secure,” says Walters.
“One of the key aspects of the relationship with Juniper Networks and Pulse Secure is their ability to listen to what the customer needs,” says Walters. “We have helped influence some of the evolution of the products and features that we as well as other customers would see as a benefit.”