"Go to the nightclub and dance for the disco."
"Wait, you brought me here…7-11?"
Nightclub? 7-11? 7-11 nightclub? Nightclub 7-11?
When I walked into this nightclub-style 7-11, my brain paused for a few seconds. I have already formed a deep-rooted impression of it as a frequent visitor to 7-11. It is a convenience store with lights all year round. At any store in the country, I can quickly analyze how I go to get my favorite chilled milk.
But this 7-11 is different. Before 8 o'clock every night, it is an ordinary 7-11 convenience store. After 8 o'clock every night, when the neon lights turn on, it becomes a small nightclub.
You can even open two bottles of beer with your friends and fight the King of Fighters 97 for 300 rounds.
When I left this store, my friend’s first sentence was: "7-11 playing this set, (I) really didn’t expect it to be a bit subversive. In the future, should 7-11 be regarded as a nightclub or a nightclub? 7-11?"
Good convenience store business, why should 7-11 "make a big disruption"?
7-11 is engaged in nightclub style, all driven by the market
Among convenience store brands, 7-11 has always been "a good name", and in some years can be regarded as the "teacher" of domestic convenience stores.
However, with the continuous development and changes of the domestic market, 7-11 convenience stores have encountered unprecedented bottlenecks.
1. Decline in daily sales
According to the financial report released by 7-Eleven’s parent company, 7&i Holdings, 7-Eleven’s average daily sales per store in Japan and mainland China is 656,000 yen (approximately RMB 41,800), compared with the 2017 fiscal year. The high point created has declined. However, domestic rents, manpower, logistics, and commodity costs are basically in a steady rise.
One decrease and one increase, pressure appears.
▲ The total revenue performance of 7&i Holdings is not optimistic
2. Decrease in customer base
The data shows that not only 7-11, but also almost all brand convenience stores' visitor sources are declining. Many people now rely more on takeout and online shopping, and convenience stores will only become the choice of this group of people at night and early in the morning.
3. The extension of the store is not going well
The barriers to entry for convenience stores are relatively low. There are more and more brands participating in the competition, and the source of customers in the market is relatively constant. In today's homogeneous competition, which convenience store is closer to itself is for customers More importantly, the brand of the convenience store is an unimportant factor.
The more stores opened, the more advantages it has in relative terms, but the expansion of 7-11 stores in China has been tepid.
▲ The share of 7-11 convenience stores is being diluted. Picture from: New Retail Report
In order to break the passive situation, innovation and breakthrough is the inevitable choice of 7-11.
Do tricks offline, more than 7-11
The problem facing 7-11 is a common problem for many offline stores: customer sources are decreasing, customer unit prices are decreasing, total revenue is decreasing, but costs are still rising.
Today, with increasingly flat and transparent information, it is almost difficult for mature industries that are closely related to life to reap the benefits of information gaps.
Many years ago, a piece of clothing bought for 50 yuan in Guangzhou could be sold for several hundred yuan in the central and western regions. Now we are doing offline stores, channels, suppliers, unit price, rent and manpower, etc., basically everyone is inseparable. Except for those brands that have the ability to control the upstream of the industry chain, most offline stores want to sell A breakthrough in this area is almost impossible.
Everyone's internal strength is the same recently, and the customer's perception is not strong, so how to innovate from the moves has become the first choice.
▲ Atour Zhihu Hotel
▲ MINISO and King Glory joint theme store
▲ Uniqlo Community Park Theme Store
Renovating a store and making a theme style is one of the most effective ways to effectively expose the brand, quickly attract customers and provide income in the short term. In the long term, it also enhances the brand's freshness.
It's like 7-11 as a nightclub-style shop is successful. At least it attracts my editor to write a draft, which directly exposes 7-11, which may indirectly increase its sales.
However, I personally feel that this attempt of 7-11 alone is a kind of damage to the brand and confuses customers’ perceptions . After 8 o’clock in the future, I may try to avoid going to 7-11 first, because I cannot confirm a certain store. 7-11 Will there be a topic suddenly that affects my shopping efficiency.
How to survive offline stores?
Many offline stores have encountered the 7-11 dilemma, especially under the impact of the Internet. Many offline stores panicked and began to take a slant, engage in Internet celebrity, and put instantaneous traffic first. After the heat was over, it fell into a trough and even closed down .
7-11's founder Toshifumi Suzuki described the successful experience of the 7-11 convenience store in "The Philosophy of Retailing", and mentioned the key factor of the success of the convenience store-everything is oriented by user value.
Where users demand, products and services should be located. No matter how the market environment changes, the focus should be on products and customer needs. Theme stores, pop-ups, co-branding, etc. are all marketing techniques that can really make the brand grow. Serving users is the core of the prosperity.
There is a very good convenience store case around me.
There are 5 convenience stores at the gate of my community. These convenience stores rent shops in the community. These shops have a gate to the outside of the community and a small gate to the inside of the community.
▲ For example only, the graphic is irrelevant
The residents living in this community have several pain points:
- You must swipe the access card to enter and exit the community, and the access card is encrypted and cannot be copied to the mobile phone, so it is inconvenient to carry
- The courier is placed in the courier cabinet outside the community, overtime will be charged
- There is a lot of temporary shopping demand after 9pm
One of the convenience stores did this:
- The small door in the Chao community was renovated, and a small luminous sign was hung up. The path at the door was also meticulously repaired, and some flowers and plants were arranged. The small door was closed until 12 o'clock in the morning.
- Some shelves are placed near the small door in the store, surveillance cameras are installed, and free express delivery services are provided.
- The straight-line walking space from the gate to the small gate in the store is reserved for fast passage
This store has never done marketing activities, but it has always been the best business among the 5 convenience stores. Now many people have developed the habit of passing through this convenience store in and out of the community, going home or taking express delivery. Will bring something back by the way.
This is all successful cases that are user-oriented. Perhaps not every convenience store has such advantages, but as long as you use your heart, you can always find customer needs and pain points.
Offline stores under the impact of the Internet
In recent years, offline stores have faced unprecedented competition. In addition to facing competition from offline peers, they must also resist "offensives" from the Internet.
In the past, we wanted to buy things only through offline stores. Later, online shopping appeared. Many people chose to buy some non-urgent daily necessities online. Online shopping is quite lethal to large supermarkets, because for most customers, large supermarkets are a centralized place to purchase non-emergency goods.
Later, takeaways started to be delivered to their homes within half an hour, which saved customers’ physical strength and time. Many people bought slightly urgent but unimportant goods, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks, fruits and hardware.
Not to mention, now the Internet giants have also personally started the convenience store business, such as JD Convenience Store and Tmall Store.
▲ Internet giants "break into" the field of convenience stores. Picture from: Dan Shuo it does not matter (Knowledge)
Themed stores, pop-ups, co-branding, internet celebrity and other methods are indeed a correct way to solve the problem, but digging deeper, all of these methods are "short and fast" and lack continuous effects.
What the Internet cannot do for the time being is the direction that offline stores should focus on: the ultimate in-store experience, convenience within 10 minutes, services for differentiated needs, and long-term connections with humane care.
▲ If you want to experience the ultimate offline store, you may come to Guangzhou Future Club
The real and stable high-frequency connection between people and offline space is the key to an invincible offline store.
Remarks: The photo source of the 7-11 nightclub theme store is the WeChat official account of Guangzhou Chihuo
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