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Getting the look
A key part of the acquisition was the rebranding of the Mobil/Quix stores. 7-Eleven has invested heavily in its brand, signage, promotional materials, store layout and other identifying features and needed to convert its new stores not only to its operational system, but also to the 7-Eleven look. As part of the ongoing integration phase many sites needed to be significantly upgraded. A key objective was to change these sites from being seen as ‘service stations’ and instead be remodeled and rebranded into sophisticated convenience retail outlets more associated with 7-Eleven’s core branding strategy.
The changeover extended well beyond simple tweaks such as getting new signage and sticking in a Slurpee machine. Some stores required major building and site infrastructure work, retail fit-out and equipment had to be changed to match 7-Eleven systems and all signage and promotional material had to be changed.
7-Eleven Australia started to convert the first 30 stores between October and December 2011 as part of the ‘first 100 days’ phase. Planning permits were secured back in July 2010 so as to allow enough lead time for council approval. At first they converted the larger Quix sites as these required less external building work. Subsequent to this the company planned onconverting five stores a week, nationally, throughout 2011. By October 2011, it had converted in excess of 100 stores.
One of the key priorities for the integration was a focus on achieving, “business as usual as quickly as possible with minimal impact to the customer”. Therefore it was vital that the conversions were carried out as expertly as possible. Each conversion averaged about six weeks and conversions were spread across different states at the same time.
New franchisees reported that store customers felt the refurbished 7-Eleven stores had an improved atmosphere, with brighter lighting and a more functional layout. They added that features of 7-Eleven stores such as the ‘Slurpee zone’ and ‘munch’ fresh food range were proving exceptionally popular. Customer exit surveys also found an increase in satisfaction after the conversion due to the new layout, brighter illumination, more spacious aisles and, “friendly service from staff”.