Happy Birthday 7-Eleven!
7-Eleven was founded in the year 1927 under the name “Tote’m” by the Southland Corporation. The name “Tote’m” was created because customers “toted” away from their purchases. Tote’m convenience stores started off by selling bread, eggs, milk and ice. As popularity grew with these basic necessities, Tote’m started expanding quickly and later in 1928 they decided to add gasoline services to their locations.
Flash forward a bit to the year 1946, the Southland Corporation renamed their stores to what we see today as “7-Eleven”. This reflected the new extended business store hours of 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, 7 days a week. The birthday of the business on the 7-Eleven website states that July 11 (7/11) is the official birthday of the company. In my eyes, the brand 7-Eleven is only 70 years old unless you want to count the founding year, which makes them 89 years old today.
In 1963 they introduced the idea to stay open for 24 hours
7-Eleven’s currently stands at 56,600 stores in 18 countries. No matter where you go, I guess you will eventually visit one if you haven’t already.
Today 7-Eleven stores around the world are celebrating their birthday by offering a free small Slurpee to customers. In Vancouver, it is available to the first 1500 customers between 11am-7pm, while supplies last. I assume that this is the same worldwide.
Omar Knedlik, an owner of Dairy Queen back in the 1950’s ran into a problem when his soda fountain broke down. Knedlik had to improvise and keep his sodas cool and decided to keep them in the freezer. This made the sodas slushy and customers seemed to like it. This became a popular way to serve sodas which gave Knedlik the idea to create a machine that makes a “slushy” from sodas.
The first slushy drink was accidentally created in a “Dairy Queen“.
Knedlik needed to advertise his creation and hired an artist “Ruth E. Taylor” to make a logo for his product. As the logo was being created, the machine was also being constructed. An air conditioner of a car was said to be used in the earlier machine prototypes.
The logo was finished by the artist and had the name “Icee”, the birth of “The Icee Company”.
In 1965, 7-Eleven made a licensing deal with “The Icee Company”. There were a few conditions, 7-Eleven must use a different name for the products produced by the machines, only sell the product in US 7-Eleven stores and to not engage head to head for distribution rights. 7-Eleven sold the product in 1966 and named it a “Slurpee”. Bob Stanford, a 7-Eleven agency director named the “Slurpee” due to the sound it makes when people drink them.
So that is how 7-Eleven came to be and how the “Slurpee” was named. So enough with the history lesson and let’s talk about some fun facts.
The first Slurpee poured in Canada was in Calgary, Alberta.
The Slurpee Capital of Canada is Winnipeg. Actually, Winnipeggers consume the most Slurpee out of anyone in the whole world.
This year in 2016, Winnipeg holds its title for the “17th consecutive year of Slurpee Capital of the World”.
Manitoba sells an average of 188,833 Slurpee drinks per month. The rest of Canada sells an average of 179,700 per month.
2016 is the 50th Anniversary of “50 Summers of Slurpee’s”.
Slurpee drinks are served at a temperature of -2.2 degrees Celsius.
7-Eleven started celebrating its birthday publicly since 2002.
Most Slurpee’s served at 7-Eleven are Kosher.
7-Eleven had curbside service for their customers in 1949.
This is 7-Eleven’s first Television Advertisement in 1949.