7-Eleven in the Chinese Market

7-Eleven convenience store with a car parked out the front

Popular convenience store chain '7-Eleven' has over 2,800 stores in China. As a 'go to' retailer for food and grocery products that are small, affordable and ready for consumption, GlobaData reports on its consumers and where the chain is falling behind in sales.

GlobalData's survey consisted of 513 respondents, of which 36 percent purchased food and grocery items from 7-Eleven. Most of the customers were between the age of 24 and 34 years old, and then there was a small percentage of shoppers from the Gen X and Boomer generations. Of all the shoppers, 62.3 percent were female.

The report also highlights the incomes of 7-Eleven customers. The brand has a large share of middle-income earners at 43.8 percent, but they only have 38.5 percent of customers in the higher income bracket. 7-Elven worked to increase its accessibility to consumers in 2021 and encouraged average consumer spending to go from US$5.84 in 2019 to US$7.23 in 2021.

The chain's downfall sits with its lack of digital operations in China. Competitors such as Yonghui Superstores and Walmart have built omnichannel operations for online purchasing and delivery. At 38 percent, Modern Chinese consumers are increasingly purchasing their groceries online. They also expect digital elements when shopping in-stores such as QR codes and other alternative payment methods. 7-Eleven has had a market share decline since 2018 and needs to cater for the needs of digital shoppers if they hope to stay in the game.