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DALLAS -- Store traffic and sales have roughly doubled at the 12 7-Eleven stores that were outfitted this month with the Kwik-E-Mart façade for a promotion tied to Twentieth Century Fox's "The Simpsons Movie," the c-store chain told ABC News.
At those stores and other participating 7-Eleven locations, Simpsons-themed products are flying off the shelves. Since the promotion began July 2, more than 960,000 cans of Buzz Cola have been guzzled up, while more than 880,400 pink "Sprinklicious" doughnuts has been sold by the chain so far, the ABC News report stated. The company has also sold 1.1 million Simpsons' Squishee-themed Slurpee cups.
In total, the chain has sold more than 3.4 million units of Simpsons-themed merchandise, and generated 64.3 million clicks on its Web site. The promotion ends July 31, with the release of the movie on Friday.
"The Simpsons Movie" tie-in has been phenomenal, and so much fun for our franchisees, employees, customers and "Simpsons" fans," Rita Bargerhuff, senior director of marketing at 7-Eleven, told ABC News via e-mail.
The approach has garnered attention from the media and marketing experts alike.
"'The Simpsons' 7-Eleven campaign feels wonderfully fresh to me," Drew Neisser, CEO of Renegade Marketing Group told the news station when the promotion started. "For 'Simpsons' fans, this is an inside joke on a colossal scale," he said. "Among 'Simpsons' fans, this conversion is sure to enhance their perceptions of 7-Eleven as a cool place to shop. What it is really clever about this is the blending of reality and fiction."
One question remains -- will the promotion in 12 7-Eleven stores draw crowds to "The Simpsons Movie" and convert fans into 7-Eleven shoppers?
"I think this effort is designed to get the hardcore 'Simpsons' fans excited and in seats opening weekend," Neisser said. "If they go in droves, they can then spread the word to the less-enthusiastic fence sitters."
Throngs of fans visited a New York 7-Eleven on its first day of "Simpsons" sales, scooping up any Simpsons-themed product in sight.
Jill Duboff, a resident of New York, was one of the customers, purchasing $18.09 worth of "Simpsons" merchandise at the store near Times Square, according to the report.
"I'm so happy. I'm such a huge 'Simpsons' fan," she said on the way out of the store. "I would have seen the movie anyway," she said, "but I would not have shopped at 7-Eleven otherwise."
For a tour inside the Kwik-E-Mart in Times Square in Manhattan, along with an in-depth analysis of the promotion with Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, stay tuned for the Aug. 6 issue of Convenience Store News.