7-Eleven 100: Convenience Store Spreading, Vinifying
Tom Acitelli Dec. 14, 2009, 5:32 p.m.
103 West 14th Street, 140 Church Street and 676 Amsterdam Avenue
With economic indicators hinting at recovery, it is possible to imagine a future without darkened storefronts, endless tides of coupons and an arpeggio of synonyms for recession. Inflated rents may have all but toppled the very landlords they once buoyed (and sent their tenants scattering), but the blood sport of Manhattan commercial real estate will surely go on. The question then is: What recessionary scars will linger? Depending on your feelings toward 64-ounce Slurpees, the new crop of 7-Elevens sprouting across Manhattan could be scar or balm.
The neon blare of the all-night convenience store had until recently maintained a relatively low profile in Manhattan. But no longer. Earlier this year, the company announced it planned to open 100 new Manhattan locations (up from six) over the coming five years.
“7-Eleven is in a tremendous position to grow and become a fixture in Manhattan’s retail landscape,” said Ariel Schuster, part of the Robert K. Futterman team that is working exclusively with the chain (Greg Covey, Barry Fishbach and David Rosenberg comprise the rest). Along with new leases, 7-Eleven is looking to open stores by way of its business-conversion plan. Store owners are “invited to convert their existing business to a 7-Eleven store” complete with business model, products and technology. (Goodbye, corner bodega!) The newest round of 7-Elevens include a fair cross section of the island: 103 West 14th Street, 140 Church Street and 676 Amsterdam Avenue.
But Manhattan real estate is not the only uncharted territory for the company. 7-Eleven is also premiering its own brand of value wines: bottles of chardonnay (apricot undertones) and cabernet sauvignon (notes of plum) for $3.99. Come what may, there will still be Manhattan evenings full of late-night revelry and wine—now you can grab a Go-Go Taquito on the way.