Ideas 2 Go: Redefining Retail

Dave Carpenter shares his vision for the future of convenience retail at his new 7-Eleven stores.

March 04, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Former NACS Chairman Dave Carpenter, president and CEO of J.D. Carpenter Companies Inc., opened a new 7-Eleven store in August 2019 just outside of Denver, inspired by the visualization of food that European retailers create with their fresh and prepared food offers and displays.

Carpenter, who previously owned a small chain of Short Stop convenience stores in the Iowa market, says that leveraging the resources available as a 7-Eleven franchise has allowed him to expand and grow his vision. “Conceptually, it’s visual,” he said of the new store format. “It tells the customer that we’re different, and it’s the next evolution of our industry.”

With a food first focus, the store features kombucha on tap, organic and natural juices from Tractor Beverage Co., a self-serve roller grill, bean-to-cup coffee and specialty lattes, espressos and cappuccinos, freshly-baked New York-style pizzas and empanadas, hot soups, soft-serve ice cream, smoothies, packaged salads and fresh-cut produce.

Also available are digital innovations that are redefining the customer experience: delivery via the 7NOW app and Mobile Checkout, a frictionless shopping experience that allows customers to scan merchandise via the 7-Eleven app, then skip the line and pay with their mobile device. These in-store innovations were on full display at the 2020 7-Eleven Experience, an annual conference hosted by 7-Eleven Inc. that showcases new products and services, innovations inside the store and the forecourt, and strategic initiatives for the year ahead.

Overall the store, as well as future stores that have since opened or are in the process of opening, features some elements that are not yet ubiquitous at other 7-Eleven stores, a nod to Carpenter’s ability to work with 7-Eleven to develop and test new concepts and ideas that reach new demographics and elevate the overall industry definition of convenience.

The NACS Ideas 2 Go program captures insights from convenience and fuel retailers who are creating innovative consumer experiences by staying ahead of the everchanging retail landscape. See more innovation from Carpenter and his 7-Eleven store in Ideas 2 Go.