I have fond summertime memories of running into a 7-Eleven and buying a Slurpee.
I remember the blast from air-conditioning as I entered the store with whatever loose change I had scraped up or cajoled from my parents. And I remember the distinct perfume I’ve always associated with convenience stores — a strangely alluring mixture of tobacco and candy.
I have Slurpees on my mind because 7-Eleven, after a 30-year hiatus, is making a comeback to the Houston-area market, including in Galveston County. Check out the details in this weekend’s Biz Buzz.
But back to the Slurpee and 7-Eleven. When I was young oh so many years ago, we had convenience store loyalties. I preferred 7-Eleven over Stop- N-Go, but I couldn’t tell you why. 7-Eleven just sounds smoother, perhaps. Or maybe it just happened to be on a familiar route. Convenience, after all, is what the industry is all about.
It’s hard to imagine there are still such loyalties with all the brain-freezing consolidations in the convenience store industry these days. The brands change constantly. I can hardly keep up.
Do you have a favorite? The Slurpee, by the way, can be traced back to a man named Omar Knedlik, who, in the late 1950s, used parts from an automobile air conditioner to build a rudimentary frozen beverage machine, according to eater.com. 7-Eleven also is known for the Big Gulp.
Do you welcome the return of 7-Eleven? And what's your favorite convenience store and why?