7-Eleven Celebrates Its Birthday from a Distance

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7-Eleven Celebrates Its Birthday from a Distance

By Samantha Nelson - 07/20/2020

7-Eleven modified its annual “7-Eleven Day” celebration held on July 11 to accommodate social distancing recommendations meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The retailer typically gives out small Slurpee drinks free in stores on its “birthday,” but this year avoided encouraging crowds by offering 7Rewards loyalty app members a coupon for a free medium Slurpee valid throughout July.

“For nearly two decades, July 11 has been the busiest day of the year for 7‑Eleven stores as millions of customers visit us to kick off summer with their favorite frozen drink,” 7-Eleven senior vice president and chief marketing officer Marissa Jarratt said in a June 16 post on the “Inside 7-Eleven” blog. “But this year, we have to make changes for the greater good. I hope you’ll join us for the in-person party next year.”

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter updates announced the change and touted the retailer’s pledge to donate 1 million meals to Feeding America to help meet the increased need for food assistance caused by the pandemic. The retailer is also offering 7Rewards members $5 pizzas throughout the month.

In stores, bilingual counter cards and stanchion signs plug the Slurpee deal and Feeding America contribution. The stanchion signs also encourage shoppers to wear a mask and stay six feet from other shoppers. Floor clings and window signs also advocate social distancing.

7-Eleven additionally is accommodating customers that still feel safer at home by providing delivery incentives. The retailer dangled a free extra-large Slurpee with a 7NOW delivery order from July 7-11. A home page display ad on 7-eleven.com touted the deal.

The retailer also used the occasion to begin working with Grubhub, waiving the delivery fee on orders of $15 or more placed during the same time frame. A playful Twitter exchange between the 7-Eleven and Grubhub on July 6 teased the partnership, which was formally announced with a July 7 email.

NOTE: Visit p2pi.org to view the full photo audit for this year's 7-Eleven Day activation. Path to Purchase Institute members also have access to more than 300 articles and 1,600 images of marketing and merchandising activity at 7-Eleven as well as a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.