Convenience Store Products

7-Eleven Franchisee Installs Innovative Cooler Door

Now playing in Mike Jammu’s LA 7-Eleven: enhanced volume and profits

Mike Jammu regards his new cold-vault display technology investment as a conversation starter that morphs into a revenue generator.

Jammu, a Los Angeles-based 7-Eleven franchisee with two stores, invested $5,250 in new cooler-door technology—the Anthony iDOOR—developed by Sylmar, Calif.-based Anthony (a Dover Co.).

With customer attention spans on a shorter and shorter leash, the iDOOR technology serves as an attention grabber—as well as an extension of Jammu’s traditional brand promotional strategies, such as menu boards and other point-of-purchase techniques.

The patented iDOOR utilizes transparent LCD video technology embedded in cooler and freezer doors, offering compelling and differentiated ways to connect with customers. The patented transparent LCD screen is embedded in glass doors, offering transparent full-motion graphics in high definition (1920 x 1080).

The doors display high-definition images that tout limited-time offers (LTOs) on name brands, as well as 7-Eleven-branded foodservice items, snacks and, of course, beverages sitting behind iDOOR. Think of a cold-vault door doubling as a movie screen—or a hologram.

“It’s mesmerizing. Adult customers go out to their cars to bring their kids into the store to see it,” Jammu said, who installed one iDOOR last August on his 10-cooler door.

In the back office, talk focuses on volume and profit performances. The franchisee is enjoying a monthly foodservice dollar uptick of 5% to 6% on average, largely due to iDOOR, Jammu said.

iDOOR’s presence also allows customers to catch wind of store deals they never realized existed. Jammu said suggestive selling can often be problematic with busy cashiers, so iDOOR fills that void. “Some customers told us they were unaware of a breakfast burrito LTO until they saw it on iDOOR,” he said.

“Retailers find that their customers have conversations with clerks about iDOOR, so it’s a relationship-builder,” added Uri Rainisch, senior marketing manager for Anthony. “People want to be engaged in a digital way, particularly millennials. They’re both looking and yearning for this type of technology.”

anthony idoor
Jammu investing in a new cold-vault display

What’s behind iDOOR?

Retailers are always seeking a local-market edge. And the data supports it. VideoMining, a third-party video analytics firm, conducted a test that revealed that products merchandised in close proximity of the door showed an increase in purchase incidence by shoppers. For carbonated soft drinks, cooler traffic rose 13.4%.

Additionally, promoted fountain drink sales rose 19%, cooler-door traffic went up 13%, closure rate 7%, cooler-door basket size 4% and total store-wide spend went up 3%.

Retrofitted with many of Anthony’s existing cooler door models, iDOOR is outfitted with upgrades that were unveiled at NACS last October. This includes improved back lighting to make the cooler door screen brighter, more visible and engaging.

“We did it without reducing transparency (as customers are able to clearly view product varieties inside the cooler door),” Rainisch said.

Because c-store operators have different cooler-door dimension sets, Anthony offers flexibility in three iDOOR screen sizes: 32, 50 and 65 inches. Jammu, for instance, uses iDOOR’s 50-inch screen size for his cooler door. In the latest iDOOR iteration, retailers have access to additional color schemes, including the option to select custom colors matching store and corporate logos, Rainisch said.

Operational Flexibility

As Anthony expands iDOOR penetration—including offering an application for freezer doors—retailers who invest must be equipped with Wi-Fi to activate iDOOR. Using a Mac, laptop or PC, retailers provide branded images of products and display verbiage in png, jpeg and gif file formats to Anthony’s third-party software network monitoring provider. A day-part schedule is established for each retailer, who can also enable iDOOR connectivity with a mobile 3G or 4G hot spot.

For Jammu, much of iDOOR is on autopilot. He established a six- to eight-week limited-time promotion cycle for a brand and has the liberty to switch out promotions based on customer buying trends. Promotions rotate on a day-part cycle.

“During the morning, we push a coffee and muffin combo, maybe a water brand with breakfast burrito,” Jammu said. “After 10 o’clock, we focus on lunch items like pizza, wings and sandwiches, and after 3 o’clock [we] promote beer, wings and chips. Our main promos are centered around higher-margin foodservice items, and if there is an item not performing or we’re receiving less daily delivery, again, I’ll take down the promotion.”

The Los Angeles retailer is sold on the door and is gearing up to install the technology in his second store—affixed also to a single door.