The 7-Eleven store on the corner may not be a mammoth mass merchandise retailer, but it offers a surprising number of time- and cost-saving gift ideas that can help calm holiday anxiety brought on by a lack of time and money.
“You may not be able to do all of your holiday shopping at a 7-Eleven store, but you might be surprised at the number of presents you can buy at one of our stores and check off your gift list while stopping to fill up your gas tank, grab a morning cup of coffee or to buy a lottery ticket,” said Kevin Elliot, 7-Eleven’s senior vice president for merchandising, logistics and marketing.
Gift cards continue to top most holiday wish lists this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), and 7-Eleven stores have a wide variety of those (including its own), as well as videogames, lottery tickets, GPS devices, digital pictures frames and more.
Here’s a look at the 7-Eleven goods that can make for great gifts …
Lottery tickets: 7-Eleven has expanded its gift selection this year to offer a wider assortment of items for every budget.
Gift Cards: 7-Eleven offers more than 20 different cards good at online music, game, electronics, sporting goods, home improvement and department stores, as well as restaurants and entertainment venues.
Some of the gift card offerings include the Vanilla Visa, usable anywhere; the reloadable 7-Eleven gift card; Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border, Maggiano’s restaurant cards; TGI Friday’s or Applebee’s cards paired with an AMC movie card for a “dinner-and-a movie” package; a $50 card for iTunes online purchases such as downloadable music, videos, games and more; as well as cards for JCPenney, GameStop, Lowe’s Home Improvements Stores, Foot Locker and Bass Pro Shops.
Wireless Phones: 7-Eleven stores offer the ultra-low-priced prepaid Virgin wireless phone with a suggested retail price of $7.11. The phone can be paired with a Top-up Anytime Minutes card, some with rates as low 5 cents per minute. Another handset available for under $10 is the TracFone brand at $9.99.
Game Days: Predicted to be the hottest sellers this holiday season, these game titles are available (while supplies last) as part of 7-Eleven’s new videogame line-up: Guitar Hero: World Tour-Band Kit (Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii), Fallout 3 (Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PS3 or PC), World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (MMOG available on PC only), 007: Quantum of Solace (Xbox 360, PS3 and PS2), Gears of War 2 (exclusive to Xbox 360), WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 (Xbox 360, Sony PS3 and PS 2) and Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360, PS3).
Displayed next to the console games is a broad selection of game gift cards to make virtual purchases in Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOG) or pay monthly subscription fees. With approximately 20 different cards, 7-Eleven has one of the most comprehensive collections of MMOG cards available for sale, including: Nexon, Habbo, Gaia, Guild Wars, gPotato, Runescape, Aeria, City of Heroes, Exteel, ijji, IMVU, Neopets and Sims2. While offered in various denominations, most are sold in amounts of $10 and $25. Along with the prepaid MMOG cards, 7-Eleven offers prepaid gift cards for the two biggest game platforms – Sony PlayStation Network and Microsoft Xbox Live.
St. Jude Pups & Bears: 7-Eleven has four cuddly ways to support the annual St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Thanks and Giving campaign, which asks consumers to “Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not.” Oatmeal- and golden brown-colored bears and, new this year, yellow and black Lab puppies, each have one paw embroidered with the St. Jude logo and a matching green ribbon and bow around its neck. The collectible, plush animals will be available for purchase at participating 7-Eleven® stores through the holidays, while supplies last. The ultra-soft bears and pups retail for $8.99 each, of which $2 will be donated to St. Jude. Since 2004, 7-Eleven® stores have raised more than $400,000 for the world-renowned children’s hospital based in Memphis, Tenn.
GPS: 7-Eleven is offering GPS units this year for less than $100. The Nextar GPS requires no monthly subscription to operate and retails for only $99.99 at participating 7-Eleven stores.
Digital Displays: Digital frame sales have grown exponentially – more than 1000% from 2006 – according to a study by the NPD Group, and 7-inch frames have been the most popular. 7-Eleven is offering a 7-inch Nextar digital picture frame for just $49.99. Additionally, the chain is selling the Royal 1-inch Keychain Picture Frame for $15.99.
Tweens & Teens Music Mania: With sold-out concerts, screaming hordes of young fans and top-selling albums, Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) and the Jonas Brothers are hot. So is the Disney television movie phenomenon High School Musical. 7-Eleven is selling these three top-selling CDs for kids and teens at a suggested price of $14.99 to $15.99.
For Wine-lovers: 7-Eleven has a selection of Sonoma Crest wine accessories, named for its award-winning California wines. Choose a red or white, and add a little silver. The elegant silver-toned items include a wine opener, corkscrew, wine cork, wine stopper or wine glass charms that are priced between $3.99 and $7.99.
DVDs: 7-Eleven holiday DVDs include “Elf,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Polar Express,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and others selling for about $15.99.
Wrapping It Up: 7-Eleven stores have gift bags, wrapping paper, bows, boxed Christmas cards, gift card holders, wine bags, and fiber optics cards as well as ones that make a joyful noise when opened.