Kennewick Is Slurpee® Drink King
September 21, 2007 // Franchising.com // Kennewick, WA, - It's official; Kennewick is the Slurpee® capital of the United States. In August, the 7-Eleven® store at 3606 W. Clearwater sold more Slurpee drinks than any other store in North America, shooting past reigning U.S. market champion Detroit and North American champion Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to take the #1 position for the month, a title never before held by a store in Washington state or anywhere on the West Coast. The store now leads the United States for Slurpee sales for all of 2007.
Don Mariotto, the store's franchisee, hopes that the store will be #1 in the world by the end of the year. "We are still collecting data, but that goal seems attainable in the next few months."
Because of the community's love of Slurpee drinks, the Kennewick 7-Eleven has been designated as the launch point for the world premiere of Coke's Full Throttle Frozen Blue Demon Slurpee Energy Drink on Sept. 13. Blue Demon, the latest Slurpee energy beverage from Coca-Cola, is named after the famed Mexican masked wrestler and actor popular from 1948 to 1988. Frozen Blue Demon Slurpee won't be available anywhere else in the world until October. Free samples and fun giveaways will be part of the premiere celebration at the store Sept. 13-15.
The store, unofficially dubbed Kennewick's Slurpee Factory, moved up to the top spot nationwide after ranking 20th in the United States and 33rd in North America at the end of June. This meteoritic rise came after the store was able to double its Slurpee-dispensing capacity from six to 12 barrels and, as a result, create unprecedented community excitement and demand. The march was on to become #1. 7-Eleven operates and franchises more than 5,400 7-Eleven stores in the United States.
Mariotto credits both the new equipment and Kamiakin Brave offensive linemen for the rise in Slurpee sales. Mariotto said, "Man, those big hosses would come in during August (daily double) practices with sweat pouring off of them, head straight for the Slurpee machine and hit it like it was a Pasco linebacker. I knew we would shoot to #1. Now I just hope those Slurpees help them to be #1; the way they handled Pasco and Richland, they have a great shot at it."
Mariotto added that all summer long soccer teams, softball teams, marching band members and even doctors' offices have bought Slurpee drinks 30 and 40 at a time seeking respite from the Tri-City summer.
A 7-Eleven franchisee for two years, Mariotto said he had no idea of the popularity of Slurpee drinks when he first franchised the business, but recalls people standing in line 10 deep at the Slurpee machine talking on their cell phones with family and friends, reciting the list of available flavors.
With the addition of six more Slurpee-dispensing barrels, the store now offers Slurpee in Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Hawaiian Punch, Banana, Pina Colada, Wild Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Blue Vanilla, Full Throttle Frozen Fury Energy, Orange Creme and Crystal Light Berry-Pomegranate flavors.
"The new machines have been amazing in terms of increasing sales and making customers happy," Mariotto said. "We are truly a destination spot in Kennewick. We have people bringing in relatives from all over the country to show them the #1 Slurpee store in the world."
About 7 Eleven, Inc.
7 Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 7,300 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses some 33,000 stores in 17 countries and one U.S. territory. During 2006, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $44 billion. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com .
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