The 45-year-old 7-Eleven on W Grace St. held its grand re-opening this week after months of renovations.
The 7-Eleven, which is located next to the Village Café, underwent a scrape and rebuild project. After the 102-day summer project was complete, the store’s grand opening was held Aug. 26.
According to store owner Julia Maupin, the previous store had bad floors, older equipment and was in need of additional space.
“Now, we’ve modernized it. It’s 1,250 square feet larger than what is was. We have an open ceiling with sky lights. It’s more for the VCU area and VCU students,” Maupin said. “We got a 12-door vault, a lot of gondola space with 500 more skews of items than we’ve had before. Everything inside of the store is state of the art.”
Maupin decided she needed to rebuild two years ago when VCU began adding dorms on W Grace St. and subsequently met with corporate officials in Dallas to discuss her plan.
“I took all of the newspaper clippings and said ‘Let me show you what’s going on’. It took two years for them to draw it up, look at the different things and then finally make a decision to do it.” Maupin said.
Maupin said the construction occurred over the summer when school was out in order to mitigate the effect of its absence on students.
Maupin and 7-Eleven field consultant Lee Wilburn expect the store to serve approximately 2,500-3,000 people every day. In the first two days, they estimate that they’ve reached that goal.
“We just saw the reaction we got from everybody, the mouths dropping, and we’re really happy that everyone is so pleased with the store,” Wilburn said.
Slurpees, a slushy frozen beverage sold exclusively at 7-Eleven stores, were distributed for free as part of the grand opening on Aug. 27. Wilburn said she expects a truck will be at the 7-Eleven location every Friday through September to distribute free Slurpees to customers.
“(We’re just) letting the kids know we’re back open. Every kid that comes in here has said the same thing — that it’s awesome.” Maupin said.
According to its website, 7-Eleven operates as the largest convenience store chain in the country. It operates over 46,000 locations across 16 countries and employs tens of thousands of workers worldwide and is headquartered in Dallas.
Logan Bogert, Contributing Writer