7-Eleven is expanding their locker pick-up program so customers can pickup products brought from Walmart and other retailers that ship via UPS or FedEx. Customers visit 7-Eleven stores and access the lockers either by scanning a bar code sent to their smartphones, or by entering a code number provided by the shipper.
This expanding business opportunity is good for both the retailer and shipper. For the retailer, convenience store visits increase and there is low cannibalization of existing sales (since many items bought at cstores are highly-impulse oriented). Offsetting revenue from both the locker and the increased store traffic, is the need to dedicate more floor space to these lockers (which requires removing valuable selling space).
For the shipper, there are logistical cost savings realized by making many deliveries at one location, and reducing the need to re-deliver to home addresses when occupants are not at home to sign for their parcels. It is also customer centric – giving the customer reassurance that their goods will be available to be picked-up in 7-Eleven 24 hour store operations.
Like in all businesses, convenience stores have to find a way to stay relevant as an increasing number of consumers shop for groceries, personal grooming products and other convenience store staples online. Recognizing that this trend is going to continue, it make sense (where space permits) to investigate this locker program.