If McDonalds is the international symbol of the USA, I guess 7-11 will soon be the world’s image of Japan. Sure 7-11 started in the States, but the Japanese franchise bought out the US parent company some years ago and hasn’t looked back. Now 7-11 is everywhere. I guess that business model works for Starbucks (I once went to a really big Starbucks that had a Starbucks in it.) but do we really need a convenience store on every block? Does the world really need that much burnt coffee and overpriced beer?
For those diehard readers of this blog you may remember last year I told you about the new 7-11 in my neighborhood. It was built within sight of the old 7-11, no more than a football field away. So, now, when the bulldozers started dozing a new piece of land last month (do bulldozers doze?), I joked that it would be a good place for a convenience store. After all there are only five within walking distance of my house. Imagine my thrill when the beams started going up. Sure enough it was convenience store shaped – a fairly big one with a parking lot the size of Ikea. Do they really expect that many people to need a place to park?
But yesterday our future became just a little brighter here in the neighborhood. the signs went up! That corner property wouldn’t be just any convenient store. No that store would be a 7-11! For those of you who don’t live in my neighborhood here’s a little perspective. You remember those two 7-11’s built a football field apart from each other? Well this one is actually in between them! You can actually play touch football on my street and get a refreshment at every first down. So tomorrow I’m rounding up a touch football team. Slurpees across the board (For those concerned with cultural accuracy – there are no slurpees in Japanese 7-11s).