DALLAS -- 7-Eleven announced plans for its upcoming 75th anniversary celebration with activities in New York City and special promotions in the convenience store chain's 5,800 North American stores.
niversary, the company will host the "University of 7-Eleven" at Madison Square Garden, featuring speakers presenting strategies and ideas for future success.
Later, at Radio City Music Hall, the company will announce plans to launch a new public charity called "Education is Freedom." The program will raise money and grant college scholarships and job-training grants for disadvantaged young people, according to Jim Keyes, president and chief executive officer of 7-Eleven.
For consumers, all stores will give away free 7.11-ounce Slurpee beverages to their first 1,000 customers that day. The frozen drink, introduced in 1966, has become one of the chain's top-selling items. Since their introduction, more than 6 billion Slurpees have been sold, an average of 11.6 million cups a month, according to statistics provided by the retailer. The most popular flavors are Coca-Cola and Minute Maid cherry.
Participating stores will also stock products and packaging reminiscent of items sold during the company's early years, officials said.
The company traces its roots back to 1927, when an employee of the Southland Ice Co. in Dallas started selling milk, eggs and bread from the ice dock on Sundays, when other food stores in the area were closed. Originally named Tote'm stores, the operation changed its name to 7-Eleven in 1946. Stores today average up to 3,000 square feet and carry some 2,500 different items.
Among other milestones recorded in the company's history: Coffee-to-go was introduced on Long Island, N.Y., in 1964; self-serve gasoline pumps were activated in 1971; the Deli Central and World Ovens lines of proprietary sandwiches and baked goods were unveiled in 1991; and the company's 20,000th store was opened in 2000, in Tokyo.