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Japan-inspired changes coming to 7-Eleven

Big changes are on the cards for convenience store chain 7-Eleven. Picture NCA NewsWire / Seb Haggett
Big changes are on the cards for convenience store chain 7-Eleven. Picture NCA NewsWire / Seb Haggett

Some big changes are in the offing for the popular 7-Eleven brand, with the chief executive of the convenience store chain telling a retail gathering the company would take inspiration from its new Japanese owners to remake the business.

Japanese retail giant 7-Eleven International took control of 7-Eleven Australia in November 2023 in a $1.71bn buyout.

Chief executive Angus McKay said a Japan-inspired makeover was now on the cards for the small-store shops.

“Japanese stores … are the high mark around the global network. The way they present themselves, the store standards, the way they operate is just seamless and we’ve got a lot to learn from them,” he told a KPMG retail seminar on Tuesday.

VIRGIN 7-ELEVEN DOMAIN
7-Eleven Australia CEO Angus McKay has revealed the company will look to Japan to remake the business to solidify its place in Australia’s competitive convenience retail space. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

“‘We’ve been pushing for many years now to move away from being a pure chips and chocolate retailer.”

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7-Eleven boasts 750 stores around the country, but the business is facing increased competition from other convenience retailers, including the Coles Express offering and a growing OTR empire.

Mr McKay said the new 7-Elevens would aim to match how Japanese 7-Eleven stores operate by offering more food, including fresh food, drinks and daily goods.

Earlier in April, on announcing the completion of the takeover, 7-Eleven Australia said it would “expand product assortment and introduce new high quality fresh foods”.

“It is about continuing to grow our store network in Australia and providing unrivalled customer experiences and quality products,” Mr McKay said at the time.

There are 750 7-Eleven stores in Australia. Picture NCA NewsWire / Seb Haggett
There are 750 7-Eleven stores in Australia. Picture NCA NewsWire / Seb Haggett

“My team and I are looking forward to taking advantage of 7-Eleven International’s deep experience in convenience retailing with the leadership of Executive Chairman, Shin Abe.”

His address at Tuesday’s gathering also suggested the retailer could roll out a delivery service.

Mr McKay added price inflation, higher interest rates and utility bills had impacted consumer spending.

“It’s low relative real wage growth over a sustained period of time, higher interest rates, and it is absolutely (the cost of) utilities, which we don’t talk enough about, which really hurts the consumer,” he said.