NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, Martha might say, "it's a good thing" because there's more of it than just beer and beef jerky. And if you're like me, the hot dogs aren't that bad either.
7-Eleven (SE), the world's largest convenience store chain, is going gourmet with a new line of fresh-wrapped sandwiches. With its February merchandise store sales up 5.7 percent, why the change?
With us now is James Keyes, the president and CEO Of 7-Eleven (search). He joins us from Dallas.
Good to have you, sir.
JAMES KEYES, CEO, 7-ELEVEN: Hi, Neil. Good to be here.
CAVUTO: Why you doing this?
KEYES: You know, we've been transforming 7-Eleven for a number of years, and we've recognized that convenience is much more than beer and beef jerky, not that we can't have the best beer and the best beef jerky, though we think there's a much broader customer out there.
CAVUTO: All right. Who are these sandwiches targeted for?
KEYES: You know, more of us are busy in our daily lives, and they're targeted at people like me or you that are on the run. We want fast food, but we're a little more sensitive to what we're eating these days. So we'd like a little higher quality, a little more selective ingredients and portability. The ability to throw it in your briefcase and have lunch when you have time.
CAVUTO: How fresh are these sandwiches?
KEYES: They're actually very fresh. We've been spending much of the last 10 years building a nationwide network that allows us to literally make these sandwiches each night and deliver them first thing in the morning to every store.
CAVUTO: So these aren't, like, weeks old or I'm getting something that was made back in the last election, right?
KEYES: No. Exactly not. In fact, that's the competition in many cases with long shelf life. So fresh is better.
CAVUTO: All right. Now, you're known for fairly competitive prices. I imagine these sandwiches are going to cost you a little more, though, right?
KEYES: They are. We're in that position right now that we're just evolving into this business -- it's less than 10 percent of our sales, the fresh food portion.
CAVUTO: So how much are they going to cost?
KEYES: We think we're competitive now. We're trying to stay -- let's say, $2.50 to $3.50 per sandwich. And we think with the quality that we're offering, that is a pretty good price point for us now.
CAVUTO: What will be the most expensive sandwich? I mean, I know it's going to be $3.50, or whatever, but what will that be?
KEYES: Some of our deluxe, what we're calling our deluxe sandwiches, if we get fancy with the Capicola ham and really put a lot of extra spice and vegetables into the sandwich, you could find a sandwich that costs as much as, let's say, the high end of $3.99, perhaps.
But we're trying to keep it under $4 so that you can have a whole meal with a drink and a bag of chips, for example, for under $5 is the idea.
CAVUTO: All right. Thank you, sir. Very good having you. Wish you luck with it.
James Keyes, the 7-Eleven CEO.
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