Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?

You’ve probably heard that they’ve converted some 7-11 stores across the country into Qwik-E-Marts. It turns out that there is one near the office where Conor and I work during the day, so it would have been silly to stay at work all day when we can go explore this rather interesting marketing stunt.

If you want the pictures, click on through.

I’ve gotta say, it was kind of cool. They pretty much went all out, and there were little touches everywhere that were a lot of fun. Clearly it was a brilliant move for 7-11, because the place was packed, and people were all buying stuff, seemingly just for the hell of it. Here are some shots of the place. If you’re near one of these, it might be worth a trip. Not a long trip, mind you, but a short one definitely.

They changed all the exterior signage, and there’s nothing outside that says 7-11 anywhere. Judging by the nerdy kids with digital cameras in the store, I’d say that this is definitely bringing in the crowds.

The first thing you see when you get inside is a cutout of Chief Wiggum in front of the giant case of the classic Homer favorite pink donut sprinkled donut. Conor and I were about to buy some (clearly against doctor’s advice), when we realized they were in fact raspberry filled, a fact which repulsed us both. It should be noted though, that they were very large donuts, and looked and smelled very good. They were also still very fresh.

This is clearly a rack of special cereal, and I can confirm that several people were buying them. Multiple boxes. They might be the most exclusive cereal since Flutie Flakes.

In lieu of the donuts, we decided to get some Squishees. OK, they’re just Slurpees in special cups, but dammit it was fun, and a mid-day Squishee on a hot day is a really good thing.

In the coolers at the back, they had, among the others sodas, Buzz Cola, which I’m assuming is just an off-brand cola in special cans. We bought a can each ($0.98 per can), but neither of us opened them. I don’t think we’re thinking of them as collector’s items, but for some reason, I didn’t want to open mine either. But it’s been on my desk for a couple days now, and it’s warm, and therefore less enticing. I’m guessing I’ll drink it next week.

And here’s the hot dogs. I have never, and will never, for any reason, regardless of any other lack of food, eat something from this area of a 7-11.

Well, maybe…

And finally, we have the employees, forced to wear the outfit. Well, I guess it’s just a shirt, but you get the idea. Now, I’ve heard that people are complaining that these stores are based on a racist stereotype. And this is of course ridiculous, as the Apu character is in fact a device to subvert that stereotype, and anyone making this criticism is ignorant, ill-informed, and plainly irritating. All that being said, this felt a little strange, and perhaps it would have felt less so had there been a bit more diversity among the staff.

Man, that was good Squishee.


  1. this is by far the coolest thing you guys have ever posted on this site (besides the shows of course)

  2. Haha, awesome. Thanks for posting the pics.

    I’m so used to seeing stand-alone sevs, this urban one is kinda freaking me out.

    Wonder if any of my area sevs were converted. I’ll have to check it out.

  3. It’s in the link at the top of the story. But no, there aren’t any near Philly. The Manhattan one is probably as close as you’ll get.

  4. i went to one near in chicago and when i left. the blue-haired, nose-ring-bearing clerk said words i shall take with me to the grave.

    “Thank you come again”

    did your guy say that Josh?

  5. I made the trip to the one closest to me last week. Definetly cool. I took some pics and put them on my flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/hidefjohn

  6. Its official: I’m on a mission to go to the one in Burbank this weekend.

  7. That is great. I have yet to see one around LA though.

  8. What mike graham said.

  9. Great promotion or best promotion ever? You decide.

    I went to the one in Vancouver, and the larger stand alone ones are actually done up really well with the walls coated in yellow Simpsons-esque tile making them look really in world.

    The Buzz Cola is not great. I haven’t bothered buying the cereal. I’m surprised you didn’t get Radioactive Man Issue #711 (on sale at the stores). It’s actually not a bad spoof of a few origin stories and sort of (but not quite) makes me want to check out the Simpsons’ regular comic series.


  10. The one in Chicago is just a few miles from my house. Woo-hoo! Squishee here I come.

  11. Oh I get it. the Simpsons. OK OK…

  12. Too bad their is nothing with duff beer logo on it

  13. There should be one in every Springfield in the country. that would be awesome.

  14. There’s on in LA on Sepulveda south of the 10. We passed it yesterday and I didn’t realize there was another one aside from the Burbank one, so I was surprised and joyed at the same time. Meanwhile, the parking lot was full and there was a line to get in. Maybe another day.

  15. I think that all 7-11s have the products, but only a few are Kwik-E-Marts…

  16. You should have went for the pure syrup Squishees and followed it up with joining the Boy Scouts with Ned Flanders.

  17. that Slurpee was better in the Squishee cup. lol
    you know, there WAS a Simpsons comic…..

  18. Went to the one in Times Square last night. It was funny. The Sour Apple Squishee was a bit too sour so I had to pour it out 6 minutes later–but the donut was awesome.

  19. I guess I’m not an expert on Apu.
    How exactly is the character subverting Indian stereotypes instead of reinforcing them?

  20. There have been many episodes where they reveal him to be a three dimensional character rather than a crude one note joke. He’s got personal problems and a history, and has issues with living in this world versus the one he grew up in. Granted, it’s all in the context of a comedy show.

    I think the Simpsons regularly does that with characters.