Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven’s plans at Texas track
7-Eleven has signed a five-year deal with Texas Motor Speedway that will see the iconic convenience store chain build its first permanent location at a sports venue.
The move, which will be announced this week, will make the Texas-based company the official convenience store of TMS as part of a wider pact that also includes on-site marketing and signage. The store will debut by the track’s upcoming NASCAR weekend in November and will be open 24/7 for eight days around the time of the races. TMS opens its 8,500 camping sites a week before its race weekends.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but TMS President Eddie Gossage said the pact is structured so that 7-Eleven will pay rent and share some of its proceeds from the location. The idea is to give campers and other people at the track an easy way to get food and supplies for the weekend without making them leave the grounds.
“There was a time when we had a full-service grocery store and the fans really liked it, so we were looking for someone to play that role [again],” Gossage said.
TMS had a similar deal with locally based grocer Brookshire Brothers that expired several years ago.
7-Eleven sees special venues as a way to take its brand to customers and find a new, potentially significant, revenue stream, according to Charles Bantos, 7-Eleven’s director of corporate development. Bantos foresees 7-Eleven adding stores at other sports venues in the coming years, and also is looking at places like music festivals, airports and universities.
The roughly 5,000-square-foot 7-Eleven store at TMS will be outside of the track’s infield North Tunnel near Turn 3 and will be open to anyone. The building formerly housed Legends race cars.
The store is under construction and plans a soft opening for Saturday, Oct. 27, which is the day TMS opens its campgrounds before the race the following weekend. 7-Eleven is working with Trilogy Marketing, among other firms, on the venture.
Bantos said the store will have a product mix aimed toward campers, such as propane and barbecue items, and will feature 7-Eleven classics such as Slurpees, Big Gulp sodas and 7-Select in-house brands. 7-Eleven plans to staff the store with 7-Eleven employees and volunteers.
The store will resemble an actual 7-Eleven location. Signage at other parts of the track will alert people about it, and TMS’s tram service will add a stop at the store. Gossage said he expects prices to closely resemble what customers see at 7-Eleven’s regular retail locations.
Other NASCAR tracks have built pop-up grocery stores over the years. For example, Albertsons-owned grocery chain Vons had a 5,000-square-foot store at this year’s race at Auto Club Speedway in California.
The 7-Eleven store will be open for TMS’s three major race weekends each year, which include two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events and one with the IndyCar Series. It also will be open for some other major, non-racing events that the track holds on site.