The inception of the convenience store was all in the name of convenience and efficiency. One of the original American convenience stores was a local ice shop that would later become 7-Eleven.
The idea was simple. People already went to the ice shop to get the ice they needed for refrigeration. If people had to make the stop anyway, why not sell the basics like eggs, bread, and milk while they are there? This made their customers' weekly routines a little easier.
The next step in convenience was extending the hours. Most people do not need to stop at the store at 3 am but those who do could really use a place to go. Extending operational hours up to 24/7 allowed 7-Eleven customers to go to the store whenever it was most convenient to them.
Around this time there was also a large movement to pair convenience stores with gas stations. A gas station was and still is the ice store equivalent. People need to get gas every so often so why not have milk and eggs available while they are there? One of the premier gas station convience stores is Speedway. Speedway has utilized people's need for gasoline to create one of the largest convenience store chains in America.
One of the more recent developments with convenience stores is ready-made food. People were already stopping at these stores because they had everything one could need and were open late. People now had the ability to pick up not only pick up breakfast with their groceries but have that breakfast and coffee stand toe to toe with whateve fast food was available nearby. Royal Farms have just about perfected convenience store food. Their chicken is on par with KFC and Popeyes all while being part of a gas station.
At each step, convenience stores made sure that wherever their customers needed they had. That has culminated in a place where I can drive down the block at 3 am on Christmas and get gas, tin foil, a burger, and a cappuccino all in one place. This does not mean that the adaptations are done.
The next step is delivery. Stores don't need customers to leave the house for gas or ice if their orders can be dropped off at their door. Delivery has now become the most convenient way to get milk and eggs and that means that it is time for convenience stores to adapt as they have many times before.
The Covid-19 lockdowns have accelerated this process. The lockdowns gave consumers a taste of the convenience of delivery and now 68% have liked it enough to keep it as a norm for them. This means that convenience stores do not have the luxury to slowly figure out this delivery thing. Customers know they want it and they are ready to pay for it.
That is why Lula is here. Lula can have a convenience store delivering anywhere within 10 miles of them in a week. Lula handles the deliveries, tech, and customer support. That means store owners can focus on what they do best. Check out our stores and sign up for your store to get ahead of the next big thing in convenience shopping. Want your local store to deliver? Refer them so you can do your afternoon milk run from your couch.
About Lula: Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., Lula provides delivery solutions for convenience stores, pharmacies, and CPG brands that do not have a secondary sales channel, offering the first multi-vendor 30-minute delivery platform and a commitment to building a cleaner, more sustainable world. Learn more about Lula at www.luladelivery.com.