7-Eleven introducing new cafe-lifestyle concept, including seating areas

KUALA LUMPUR - Through its plans to expand network and refurbish some selected stores, 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd targets to introduce a new concept in 200 outlets in the next three to four years.

The new store format, deputy chief executive officer Gary Brown said, was to offer a lifestyle concept similar to a neighbourhood cafe for the convenience store chain.

Among the selling points of the new concept stores are the array of fresh food and beverages as well as seating areas.

"The next generation of stores will be available in key cities in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor. It is not possible to provide fresh food in every outlet because we have to look at the right demographic and store location," Brown said at the opening of the 1,600th 7-Eleven store in Malaysia.

In the Klang Valley, he expected there to be at least 150 of these new concept stores.

The company has set aside RM80 million (S$31 million) for 200 new stores and 200 refurbishments this year.

It intended to invest some RM520 million (S$202 million) over the next three years for its business expansion which include opening 600 new stores nationwide, refurbishing some 600 existing stores, improving its IT system and setting up a new 166,000 sq ft combined distribution centre in Shah Alam.

For refurbishment, RM27.3mil (S$10.6 million) will be funded from its initial public offering proceeds and the rest through internally generated funds. The chain will also expand more aggressively in Sabah and Sarawak where it currently has a combined 68 stores. The stock closed last week's trade at RM1.90 (S$0.74) , up 38 per cent from its initial public offering price of RM1.38 (S$0.54).