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When you cannot afford to eat out, you eat more at home. But a significant portion of the restaurant bill for many customers is the alcohol tab, and consumers eating at home still might like a glass of wine with their meal. 7-Eleven, the largest franchise in the world, therefore has begun to offer wine in 15,000 of its convenience store locations, ready for consumers to take home for dinner.

The Wine Group in California will produce the wine to be distributed in 7-Eleven stores. The world’s third-largest wine producer, it is best known for brands such as Corbett Canyon and Glen Ellen. Its Sonoma Crest and Thousand Oaks vintages for 7-Eleven will be priced at around $10 per bottle.

The low-priced wine at 7-Eleven, Yosemite Road, costs $3.99—much less expensive, but not quite as cheap as Trader Joe’s “Two Buck Chuck” (more properly, its Charles Shaw vintage), which sells for $2.49. Trader Joe’s sells a lot of this bottle, because consumers actually like it; some even choose to shop at Trader Joe’s because they can get a great value on their wine there. In the same way, 7-Eleven hopes consumers will increase their shopping frequency at its stores to pick up some wine and perhaps snacks to go along with it.

Along with this introduction, 7-Eleven is repositioning itself as a neighborhood store, rather than just a spot to grab cigarettes and a drink. The convenience store has launched a private-label line of food products, including cookies, candies, chips, and beef jerky. If it can get customers to make an extra trip to pick up a bottle of wine, its sales of other impulse and food items should increase as well.

Discussion Questions:

1.Why is 7-Eleven introducing a low-priced wine?

2. What challenges does 7-Eleven face in its repositioning efforts?

“7-Eleven Stores Take a Big Gulp … of Wine,” Las Vegas Sun, November 3, 2009.