Oh, thank heaven! 7-Eleven, the world's largest convenience store chain, has landed in the holy land after its first store opened in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
The flagship store is located at Dizengoff Center on Dizengoff Street and will be open 24 hours on Wednesday and Thursday. The hours for the weekend have not been announced, as of publication.
.@7Eleven opened its first store in Israel today, in Tel Aviv's iconic Dizengoff Center. The chain plans to open several hundred stores across the country. And yes, there are Slurpees.pic.twitter.com/q2bIskE7jQ— Avi Mayer אבי מאיר (@AviMayer) January 11, 2023
The opening comes at the end of a two-year process that began when Electra Consumer Products signed an MoU with 7-Eleven in 2020 and then a franchisee agreement in 2021. Israel is the 19th country to open a 7-Eleven franchise, with the international company already having over 83,000 stores worldwide.
While there are already over 10,000 convenience stores throughout Israel, Electra believes that 7-Eleven will stand out despite the already crowded market.
"7-Eleven brings real convenience to the consumer in an innovative format that does not exist in Israel," said Avinoam Ben-Moha, CEO of 7-Eleven Israel. "The mix of food and products in the network was built with the aim of providing 360 solutions for a wide range of needs, where the principle that guides us is freshness and quality at the highest level and at the most attractive price."
The keywords of 7-Eleven, in Israel and around the world, are adaptability and freshness. While 7-Eleven will be bringing many of the beloved products it sells in the US, Japan and Thailand to Israel, the selection of snacks, drinks and food will also be specially personalized for the general Israeli public and even down to the specific street of each branch.
"We offer breakfasts, lunches, desserts, complete shopping for consumer goods for the home and all in one place," said Ben Moha. "In fact, 7-Eleven provides a mini market, a pizzeria, a coffee shop and a fast food restaurant in one place, of high quality and at an affordable price for everyone. The concept of the chain is international and built on nearly 100 years of experience from the global company. At the same time, we have made many adjustments for the Israeli market, starting with the menu, from the blend of coffee beans to local foods - all of which are adapted to Israeli taste and culture."
The stores use digital technology to keep track of stock on the shelves, as well as the demand for specific products, in order to ensure that the store is kept well stocked while avoiding waste.
One of the central products at 7-Eleven is the coffee. The company formed a special blend for the Israeli audience, making sure to form the perfect blend of flavors.
When you enter the store for a cup of coffee you'll be greeted by two touchscreen coffee machines: one with regular milk and one with soy and oat milk. Both options cost the same: NIS 9.
7-Eleven's classic Slurpee and Big Gulp drinks are also available at the shop, with a small Slurpee costing NIS 10 and a big Slurpee costing NIS 15. You can also enjoy Israeli iced coffee and strawberry and chia seed smoothies. The Slurpees are a somewhat different texture than the ones in the US and more similar to the ones sold by 7-Eleven in Canada.
Customers will also be able to enjoy dozens of fresh, affordable meals, including a selection of salads, sandwiches, kubbeh, fatayer (a Druze, filled pastry), toast, pizza, mozzarella sticks, hot dogs and chicken nuggets, among other options. A number of vegan options are available, including vegan sandwiches and vegan hot dogs.
The store is full of over 80 7-Eleven brand products, including fresh juices, donuts, nuts, seeds and more.
You can also find self-serve soft-serve ice cream (called American ice cream in Israel) and frozen yogurt which you can put your own toppings on.
Everything in the store is self-serve, from the drinks to the hot food. In the coming weeks, a mobile app will be launched as well to allow customers to scan their products and pay on the app without needing to wait in line. A rewards card is also set to be released in the future.
"Self-service saves the customer's time," explained Ben-Moha. "It allows the customer to prepare the coffee, hot dog or ice cream just the way they like and all in a very short time. Our coffee is made from fresh beans that are ground on-site and the customer does not need the help of or to wait for a barista. A 7-Eleven customer knows exactly how long it will take them to enter the store and leave with the products they desire."
Many of the products are kosher, but no the hot food is not
While all the products are kosher, the store itself does not have kosher certification as it serves both meat and dairy food, meaning that the heated food is not considered kosher.
In future stores that may open in areas with more religiously observant audiences, 7-Eleven will work to open stores with kosher certification with special menus.
Competitive pricing makes 7-Eleven easy on Israelis' wallets
7-Eleven is also bringing its competitive pricing to the Israeli market, aiming to bring quality food at an affordable price.
A number of sales are available for the opening, including a half liter of canned beer and half a pizza combo for NIS 24.90, a salad and juice combo for NIS 39.90, chicken fingers and a medium Big Gulp for NIS 16.90, a small coffee and a pastry for NIS 15 and a buy three get one free deal on doughnuts.
Beyond food and drinks, 7-Eleven also offers basic home supplies, phone accessories and over-the-counter medicine, among other products.
"Israel is an excellent environment for our first retail venture in the region due to the thriving economy and population growth," said Ken Wakabayashi, CEO of 7-Eleven International. "7-Eleven's entry into Israel brings Israeli customers a one-stop-shop solution, with fresh, high-quality food and a response to convenience store needs, all in a new retail format in the Israeli market. We are excited to provide citizens and tourists with a world-class shopping experience."
Zvika Schwimmer, CEO of Electra Consumer Products, explained "We chose to operate in the food market with two of the world's leading international brands: 7-Eleven for convenience stores and Carrefour for supermarkets. Our goal is to redefine the field of convenience stores in Israel, with an international concept that does not exist in the market today and with a significant differentiation both in the consumption experience, both in quality and price."
"The potential of convenience stores is huge. In Israel, there are about 10,000 kiosks and convenience stores nationwide and we intend to increase the competition and be a significant part of this market. The consumer who chooses 7-Eleven will have an international consumer experience and will receive value that he will immediately feel in his pocket," added Schwimmer.
Electra Consumer Products plans to open another eight stores within the first half of 2023, mostly in Tel Aviv. About every two weeks, a new store will be opened, according to Schwimmer. In total, 30 stores are set to open throughout Israel by the end of the year, with hundreds more expected to open in the next few years.
The next stores are set to open in the Levinsky Market, Yigal Alon Street, King George Street, the Florentin neighborhood, Nahalat Binyanim, Lincoln Street and Menachem Begin Street in Tel Aviv and Sokolov Street in Hod Hasharon.