Collegetown's Wilson Farms store being transformed into a 7-Eleven

September 25, 2012

Over a year after 7-Eleven Inc. purchased the Buffalo-based Wilson Farms convenience store chain, the company is transforming its Collegetown location this month. The store remains open while crews renovate the space and add some trademark 7-Eleven features.

The store, on the 400 block of College Avenue in Ithaca just south of the Cornell University campus, is one of 188 Wilson Farms stores purchased by 7-Eleven last spring. The company waited to review store performance and the viability of expanding its distribution chain before finalizing a list of which stores would be re-branded, and which would be closed or sold.

Thirty stores, in a variety of locations from Western New York to the Southern Tier and North Country, were put up for auction in August. The nearby stores being divested include three in Elmira, as well as stores in Bath, Hammondsport, and Horseheads.

7-Eleven says the first several stores were converted last fall, mostly in the Buffalo area, with the majority always having been planned for converstion over the course of 2012. Conversion to the 7-Eleven brand includes not just the addition of such signature items as Big Gulp and Slurpee beverages, plus Big Rite hot dogs and taquitos, but also coffee bars with urns that keep coffee at the perfect serving temperature. Permanent signage will be unveiled once the renovation is finished, but in the meantime, Ithaca's new 7-Eleven bears a "Coming Soon" banner.

7-Eleven's coffee bars currently feature limited edition "7-Election" cups, where customers can select a blue Obama coffee cup or a red Romney coffee cup for their hot beverage. When the cup's bar code is scanned at the store register, a "vote" is recorded for results being displayed at the 7-Election.com web site.

The company is offering a free cup of coffee, and thus a free vote, from 6-10am on Friday, September 28th, including at the Collegetown location. It's the fourth time the company has offered cups emblazoned with the presidential candidates' names, and they say their "unabashedly unscientific poll" correctly picked the winning candidate in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

Once the store conversion is complete, 7-Eleven says the shop will still have grocery items and ready-to-eat food like salads, sandwiches, and fruit, as well as fresh bakery items delivered seven days a week. 

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