Monday, June 28, 2010

Biking to the Danish 7-Eleven

Take a look at this photo of a 7-Eleven in central Copenhagen. Notice the bicycles? No wonder everyone inside had a water or juice in hand as they approached the register.

In fact, the store was stocked mainly with grab-and-go beverages and snacks. Only a tiny fraction of the store was devoted to other foods and household staples, although a few newspapers were for sale. The strategy is to limit inventory to the few hundred items that are in highest demand and turn over the stock quickly.

I noticed 7-Eleven stores on street corners all over Scandinavia, along with competing stores carrying derivative but descriptive names such as "8-22." Most had bike racks outside, and the locations made for quick, convenient shopping for commuters, students, businesspeople, and even tourists. No need for fancy atmospherics or extensive stock--the simpler, the better here. (I wonder how much weight customers give to the store's brand when location seems to be the most important determinant in the impulse buying process.)

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