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03/24/2021

7-Eleven concept store adds first drive-thru

With its latest Evolution Store concept in Dallas, the retailer added a drive-thru for its Laredo Taco Company restaurant where Slurpees can be ordered, and store brand items could be added in the future.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Through its Evolution Store format, 7-Eleven is testing its first drive-thru experience, offering Slurpees and fountain drinks, but if the test goes well the concept could eventually include the chain’s own brand products.

The drive-thru is primarily for the Laredo Taco Company restaurant that’s housed with the 7-Eleven concept store. The Evolution concept expanded last November and the three stores in Dallas feature the quick-serve chain’s foods like authentic tacos, beef barbacoa, chorizo, carne asada and more.

The drive-thru experience also is allowing shoppers to order up its flagship 7-Eleven Slurpees, hot coffees, espresso drinks and fountain drinks, but a 7-Eleven representative told Store Brands that as they continue to get customer feedback and test and learn, there could be an opportunity to add more 7-Eleven products to the drive-thru menu. “That’s the beauty of the Evolution Store concept, it’s all about testing and learning from customers,” she said.

There are six total Evolution concepts in the United States, and they do bill themselves as beverage destinations, with an expanded wine cellar and beer cave, new drink ideas like smoothies, shakes, flavored still and sparkling waters, cold brew coffee, and unique soda flavors like ginger beer, black cherry, pineapple coconut, diet key lime and diet cherry vanilla. Sparkling water flavors include lemon ginger, strawberry rose, coconut lime, cucumber mint and mango.

The locations also feature novelty foods and a wide selection of skincare and cosmetic products. The assortment of each store is customized to fit that local neighborhood, too, and they leverage 7-Eleven’s rewards program and 7NOW delivery app.

More concept stores are expected to launch this year in North Texas and Manassas, Va., and future locations. 7-Eleven acquired the Laredo Taco Company restaurants along with Stripes convenience stores in South Texas as part of the 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018.