Get an iPod to go with that Slurpee… iPods available at 7-11 stores in Japan - Macenstein

Get an iPod to go with that Slurpee… iPods available at 7-11 stores in Japan

Posted by Helper Monkey

The highly successful 7-11 chain of “food� stores has a new item on the menu…the iPod. Well, at least in Japan that is. While this may seem an odd turn of events those of us familiar with the US version of the convenience store, the 7-11 chain is actually quite a bit different over in Japan.

Back in 1991, 7-11 Japan bought out the US parent company (Southland Ice Company) when it was going bankrupt. 7-11 has since gone through a complete makeover and is now a huge success story both here and abroad. The Japanese stores are far more technologically advanced than their US counterparts, with completely electronic inventorying and restocking systems in place. Inventory is changed throughout the day at peak times to meet the needs of customers. Despite its comparatively small size, Japan has more than twice as many 7-11 stores as the US (11,069 vs. our puny 5,800).

Recently, the US stores have been playing catch-up, and adopting many of the Japanese stores’ tactics. You can go into most US 7-11 stores now and buy a cel phone along with your burrito. No word yet if and when iPods will be available at US 7-11 stores, but if this distribution model proves successful in Japan, odds are we will see a US roll out down the road.

Apple’s arrangement with 7-11 was actually announced last October, but this is the first time we have seen pictures of the display circulate. It appears that nanos, gift cards, and the 30GB model are available. Originally, we were told shoppers would order their iPods, and have them arrive a few days later. However, from the above picture, it appears you may be able to buy iPods “off the rack�.

(Looks like an irresistible target for those a 5-finger discount shoppers to me.)

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