Connect with us

Business

7-Eleven – Can’t live without it

Published

 on 

7-Eleven – Can’t live without it | Thaiger

PHUKET: Love it or hate it, the local 7-Eleven has become an integral part of daily life for most people living in urban Thailand.

From its humble beginnings in 1920s Dallas, Texas, where ice factory employee John Jefferson Green began selling milk, eggs and bread from an improvised store in front of the factory, it has grown to be the largest franchise operator in the world with over 50,000 stores. It seems to have found the perfect niche here in Thailand, with some 7,000 stores, surpassed in number only by the US and Japan.

So what is it that makes them so popular? Well, in a word, convenience. Where else can you grab a quick cheap bite to eat, withdraw some money from the ATM, pay a bill, top up your phone credit, buy a few beers and a copy of the paper in under five minutes, all in air conditioned comfort?

Well, nowhere else really, and that’s the recipe for their popularity. But, before you accuse me of leading the cheer squad for this westernized shopping experience that has so rapidly encroached on Thai life, it’s important to remember some of the ways the 7-Eleven experience has been “Thai-afied”.

Firstly, the prices. Items at 7-Eleven are reasonably priced, unlike in the West where “convenience” is factored into the cost at an astonishingly high rate, often making items twice as expensive as those in a large supermarket. This points to the Thai eye for value and a good bargain. If 7-Eleven set their prices too high, no one would go.

Secondly, more often then not, the stores serve as a gathering point for local vendors, where they can set up their stalls with free lighting and the promise of a constant flow of foot traffic – so rather then completely nudging out local traders, a symbiotic relationship is often formed.

Thirdly, they function as a sort of all-hours banking service. There is almost always an ATM, bills of all sorts can be paid in one spot and you can reliably break a 1,000-baht note at any time of the day or night. They are also one of the only places you can consistently find a rubbish bin in a country sorely lacking public bins.

So despite the valid criticisms of the high-calorie, low-nutrition food they purvey, and their smothering of small mom-and-pop stores, it seems certain that they are here to stay. And if the decrepit soi dog that sleeps right in the doorway of my local store has any say in it, there are some things about Thailand that even 7-Eleven will never change.

— Mark Knowles

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs2 mins ago

Drug policy outlines by PM, cash rewards to police in busts

World Cup57 mins ago

World Cup to be shown in Thai prison

Economy1 hour ago

UK exports to Japan slump after ‘landmark’ free trade deal

Sponsored2 days ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Thailand3 hours ago

Try These Weird Thai Foods… If You Dare

World20 hours ago

Thai gangs traffic Kenyans to Myanmar scam factories

South21 hours ago

Deep South emergency decree extended 3 months

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand22 hours ago

Why Is Thailand So Cheap?

Expats22 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 best golf courses

Crime22 hours ago

Inmate who escaped Khon Kaen hospital back in custody

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Masks recommended in crowds amid Covid increase

Crime1 day ago

Squabbling beach vendor gives rival a single bullet warning

Tourism1 day ago

Russian invasion takes Thailand’s tourism forces by surprise

Road deaths1 day ago

Late night drinking hopes dashed by Alcohol Control Committee

Thailand1 day ago

Why Pattaya? Is Pattaya worth visiting in 2023?

Transport1 day ago

Thai Airways appoint new CEO

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending