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    7-Eleven Food Sales Spike

    Company cheers on Madden NFL 2009 game release.

    By W.B. King

    DALLAS -- Grocery sales at 7-Eleven Inc. stores during July were 2 to 3 percent higher than a year ago, while frozen food sales were up seven percent and ready-to-eat meals were up nine percent, reported The Washington Post.

    Spokesperson for 7-Eleven Margaret Chabris said the recent uptick in food sales is not connected to the company’s recently announced plans to increase the number of its 7-Eleven convenience stores in the United States that sell in-store hot cooked meals. "The hot foods program is unrelated," she told CSNews Online.

    On Friday, Chabris confirmed the initiative is based upon the successful baked in-store hot foods campaign that was launched in March in approximately 100 Chesapeake, Va.-area stores.

    "Our pilot program in southeast Virginia has been going well, and we do plan to expand it starting later this year and into 2009," Chabris told CSNews Online. "We plan to expand first in that region."

    While Japanese retailer Seven & I Holdings Co. expects to rollout approximately 800 stores by yearend and eventually making products available to all 6,200 locations, which could happen within two years, Chabris told CSNews Online. "[There is] no timeline available yet on the number of stores or other specific geographies where the hot foods program will be expanded to next."

    In other 7-Eleven news, participating locations are selling copies of the highly anticipated Madden NFL 09 released today. The campaign includes special Slurpee cups, Madden sandwiches, video game boxes, DVDs and other NFL-related offerings including football cards showing a handful of star rookies and key players in their virtual forms.

    "This is the first time we have worked on a Madden NFL game," Chabris told CSNews Online. "We know from research we did a few years ago that our core customers like movies especially one with super-heroes, sports and videogames. Our marketing and advertising agency worked with us to develop an arrangement with Electronic Arts, the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, to sell the games in our stores, and we have expanded this program to include a Slurpee called Gridiron Ice, from the makers of Gatorade, and a sweepstake contest."

    Campaign details are available at www.slurpee.com .

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