So what is the real icon of America? you might think Apple because of its computers, underarmor because of its clothing McDonalds because of its food, or you might think of Ford or Chevy because of its cars but none of them come close to the icon which I think best describes America. 7-Eleven is a true American symbol and you might ask your self why but I will prove it to you because everything about 7-11 screams American life.
7-Eleven can claim its origins to being a family run corner store in Texas. Ofcourse over the years they started to expand and later became known as 7-eleven cute to it being open from 7 am till 11pm. Ofcourse now they are 24 hour stores and it is rare to see a 7-eleven closed but when you do you know it was a natural disaster or a robbery. LOL.
I remember going to 7-11 after classes and getting a slurp which of course they still have slurpees and i will occasionally go and get myself one. There also used to be a small neighborhood market near where I grew up called Rosemont Market aka “Green Store” however they went out of business not thanks to these big supermarkets but instead by the 7-11 down the road. Today is 7-11’s birthday and of course that means free slurps and I got mine today good old strawberry and banana. Anyways enough about me remembering my childhood, here is my reasoning behind the little store that defines us.
First off contrary to its name, 7-Eleven is now a 24 hour store that fits into the American always on the move life style. Many locations also have attached gas stations for easier convenience. 7-11 is nation wide with more locations than McDonalds and can be found pretty much anywhere around the USA. They also have many international locations. Being 24 hours gives it that if you need something at the moment just check your local 7-11 because they have so much to offer. Americans need to be able to find what they need and in a heart beat because we are a nation that is inpatient. The selection of items is key to making it such a successful chain. They sell such a wide range of product you can pick up a lot of your emergency or on the go products. Americans love the fact they can set foot into one store and pick up their coffee, baked good, a magazine, movie, condoms, and hats all in a single store. I have seen them sell many different things but for the most part the main sections are – movies and media, coffee bar, candy, cold drinks, beer and wine, canned goods, snack foods, clothing, beauty and bath, electronics and school supplies, slurpees, hot food bar, Amazon Lockers, lottery and scratchers, and of course cigarets. Having all of this compressed into a small store anywhere between 2400 to about 3000 square feet. That is a small store and the fact i know of at least 13 in Alexandria is even more proof that you can find them anywhere.
Its this level of accessibility that I believe really shows that Americans can be lazy and demanding to force to have a small shop with everything everywhere you go. But my dissection does not stop there. 7-Eleven is a franchise and anyone can own one and really make some money out of it. It may not have the most well known name but I have never seen a 7-Eleven franchise go belly up due to lack of demand or competition. I have tried looking to a profit margin to see about how much a location makes in profit but I haunt been able to really find one. They surely are always busy, even during the middle of the night, you will probably be standing in a line with people trying to get their last minute beer or purchase a grey hound ticket or check their lotto numbers.
Within all this I am ok with saying that 7-Eleven is a good example of America because anyone can get a job there and work hard and make a living. You really get that neighborhood feel and learn the names of the employees. It just has everything you need and always being open means that someone is employed and working. It maybe minimum wage but someone needs to do the work and allows for cheap products for the rest of us. In many ways one can compare it to Walmart with the only real differences being size, amount of product, and number of locations.
7-11 is going to be around for a while and with strong marketing it will be hard to get rid of or put up a fight. On the free Slurpee day, 7-11 distributes about 6 million Slurpees in a single day. According to the fun fact page for 7-11, 13 million slurpees are consumed a month which is a lot of sugar. When the Simpsons Movie came out, many locations transformed into Kwik-E-Martswhich in my opinion was a great move to bring a great show to life and get plenty of business and foot traffic.
In conclusion, 7-Eleven in my eyes is America and will continue to be a defining name. All other large companies show off the amount of money America has or the power but I feel the truth and showing that everyone rich or poor flows through their doors to get what they need is a real definition.