Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. is searching for up-and-coming brands to attend Brands with Heart, its second annual emerging brands event, which will be held at its store support center in Irving, Oct. 22-23. Brands can apply before Sept. 20 for a chance to showcase their most innovative products while engaging with leaders from the world’s largest convenience store retailer.
“At 7-Eleven, we are customer-obsessed, and part of that is identifying and sourcing new and innovative products and services for our customer,” says 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. “Throughout our history, 7-Eleven’s success has been built on innovation—from the first days of offering bread and milk on an ice dock up to today, introducing 7NOW delivery services, the 7REWARDS customer loyalty program and mobile checkout, as well as many other exceptional products you won’t find anywhere else.”
This event provides 7-Eleven an opportunity to learn more about new products reshaping the industry and how they might better serve the 8 million U.S. customers who visit its stores each day. This year, 65 emerging brands will be invited to make their case about why they deserve a spot on 7-Eleven store shelves, as well as learn about the convenience retailer’s history of innovation.
“Last year’s event drew hundreds of applicants, 70 of which our team had the pleasure of learning more about,” says Chris Harkness, 7-Eleven VP of merchandising. “We look forward to the same successful turnout this year. We’re always striving to meet our customers where they are and provide them with the products they need for their busy lives. This event allows us to expand our offerings and find new ways to make our customers’ experience with the brand even stronger.”
The Brands with Heart event incorporates workshops, an expo and keynote sessions with industry experts who will dive deep into the importance of emerging brands in the retail industry. Keynote speakers include 7-Eleven Chief Merchandising Officer Jack Stout and founder of Fuze, Body Armor, Core and A Shoc, Lance Collins. The two-day experience will close with an informal networking session where entrepreneurs can exchange ideas with the 7-Eleven merchandising team.
“The most innovative items discovered at last year’s brand showcase have already hit Los Angeles 7-Eleven store shelves in a real-world test,” Harkness says. “Ultimately, it’s our customers who decide which products become true success stories.”