Happy 79th Birthday 7-Eleven! No. 1 Convenience Store Serves up Free Slurpee(R) DrinksSunday July 9, 1:00 am ET DALLAS, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year, July 11 marks the day that the world's No. 1 convenience retailer observes its birthday. This year is 7-Eleven's 79th year in business, longer than any other convenience retailer in the world. To celebrate, participating 7-Eleven® stores across America will serve up 3 million free 7.11-ounce Slurpee® drinks in special "Happy Birthday!" cups to customers as long as the cups last. Another 7-Eleven icon is having a milestone birthday this year. Not only was 7-Eleven the first to introduce convenience retailing, it also pioneered the super-size drink phenomenon with the launch of the 32-ounce Big Gulp® fountain drink in 1981. During the last quarter-century, 7-Eleven has sold almost 2 billion fountain drinks in various "Gulp" cups (specifically Gulp®, Big Gulp, Super Big Gulp® and Double Gulp® cups). To commemorate the occasion, 7-Eleven will offer customers extra-big Big Gulp drinks in 40-ounce cups, with the additional 25 percent free fountain drink signifying 25 years of Big Gulp. The special Big Gulp cups will be available throughout the summer or while supplies last. "Slurpee and Big Gulp drinks are American institutions," said Cindy Davis, 7-Eleven senior vice president of merchandising. "7-Eleven continues to be the face of convenience retailing to most consumers, setting the standards for the whole industry. Besides celebrating the birth of convenience store retailing, 7-Eleven Day, or July 11th, gives us an opportunity to recognize other major company and product events." Convenience retailing began simply enough in 1927 when a Southland Ice Company employee started selling milk, eggs and bread from his ice dock in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas. Since that inauspicious start, "convenience" has become a big business. The small ice company has grown into a major international retailing chain with 5,800 7-Eleven stores in the United States and Canada and more than 30,000 stores worldwide. "7-Eleven can measure its No. 1 position in the marketplace in two ways," Davis said. "We were the first to introduce the concept of convenience shopping to the public. Secondly, 7-Eleven continues to be the largest convenience store chain in the world. While 7-Eleven will always have the distinction of being the first convenience store, maintaining our top ranking with consumers' is a day-to-day challenge that continues to evolve as our customers' lifestyles and shopping needs do." The company introduced many convenience concepts that are now standard fare, not only among convenience stores, but also many of which have been adopted by quick-service restaurants and other types of retail outlets. 7- Eleven was the first convenience store to advertise on television, operate 24 hours a day, sell gasoline, offer fresh-brewed coffee to-go, self-serve fountain drinks and giant drink cups, and sell pre-paid phone cards. Branded proprietary products like Big Gulp fountain drinks, Big Bite® hot dogs, Go-Go Taquitos® and Slurpee frozen carbonated beverages have become part of popular American culture. "We know our customers have high expectations of us," Davis said. "Our challenge, day in and day out, is to provide exceptional convenience, quality, value and service. A lot of things at 7-Eleven have changed over the years, but that commitment never will." 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 or franchises more than 5,800 7-Eleven® stores in the United States and Canada and licenses close to 30,000 7-Eleven stores in 18 countries and U.S. territories. During 2005, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of approximately $43 billion. Find out more online at http://www.7-Eleven.com . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: 7-Eleven, Inc.