In my personal opinion I think 7-Eleven is the best ‘combini’ store chain in Japan. There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, they are known to source their products from manufacturers who make use of the best quality materials in their products. The difference between 7-Eleven’s consumables and other chains is night and day. Let’s take their seasonal meat products for example. I find 7-Eleven’s spicy chicken quite delicious. I have tried similar products from other chains including the famous ‘Fami-ma’ chicken and I find that none of them can hold a candle to 7-Eleven.
Secondly, I find the layout of 7-Eleven’s stores much easier to navigate. You can feel that the company has put a lot of effort into making sure customers can easily find what they intend to buy as quickly as possible, as most customers may be pressed for time. Most stores have a unified layout that makes it very easy to know where to get what item. For this reason, I would rather pop into a 7-Eleven if I have very little time to grab something to eat than any other convenience store.
I also enjoy browsing 7eleven’s magazine corner. They seem to have a better selection of magazines than most other convenience stores. They seem to carry them longer as well. Most stores only carry their selection of magazines based on their popularity. It is much easier to find niche publications in a 7-Eleven than in most other convenience stores. Some of my favorite publications were discovered in a 7-Eleven.
I have also been told that 7-Eleven’s products and stock are made from high quality materials and ingredients. They also work with manufacturers of their branded products to make sure that they are of a high quality and have undergone the most thorough quality assurance procedures. I can attest to this fact as I have purchased several products from 7-Eleven that I still use to this day. A couple of pairs of socks come to mind. I purchased them when I had run out of clean socks due to an inability to do my laundry because of bad weather in the rainy season. They have served me well. I am beginning to see them wear out, especially at the toes and heel. But after five years of near constant use, I find this quite acceptable. Nothing is meant to last forever.
Another thing that endears me to the 7-Eleven brand is its advertising. Coming from the advertising industry, I find the effort and creativity that is put into their branding quite remarkable. Being a convenience store chain that can be found nearly everywhere and even in the remotest of places, you would think that it would make them complacent, as they are close to being an essential service. Not to mention how little competition they really have from some of their rivals.
Their commercials have been good enough to entertain as well as keep the interest of their brand going. Their TV spots are akin to watching a short film that has a consumable product at its center.
be night and day (expression) – to be completely or drastically different
hold a candle to (expression) – to compare to someone or something in a favorable way [usually used in the negative form] layout (noun) – the way in which the parts of something are arranged or laid out
stock (noun) – the goods or merchandise kept on the premises of a shop or warehouse and available for sale or distribution
complacent (adjective) – not taking things you do as seriously as you used to
essential (adjective) – necessary