As the world’s original convenience store, 7-Eleven remains the largest chain in the convenience retailing industry, with 77,000 stores worldwide in 17 countries. 7-Eleven Hawai‘i has 65 locations serving O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Kaua‘i, and Maui. Known for its iconic brands such as SLURPEE®, BIG BITE®, and BIG GULP®, 7-Eleven Hawai‘i has expanded its food and beverage offerings to meet local preferences. Year after year, as they continue to perfect the recipe, their SPAM® Musubi has won top accolades from readers of the Star Advertiser and HONOLULU Magazine. Customers are often surprised and delighted to find high-quality locally-inspired favorites on our shelves. But, one question remains: why is this global convenience store chain so different in Hawai‘i?

Under the ownership of Southland, the first 7-Eleven store in Hawai‘i opened on April 14th, 1978, at 3105 Waialae Avenue in Honolulu and is still in operation today. At this time, convenience stores were new to Hawaii, and local people welcomed the 24-hour operation. After a decade of continued expansion, Southland sold the Hawai‘i operation to 7-Eleven Japan on December 22nd, 1989.

By 1992, 7-Eleven had 47 locations, and under Japan’s direction, Hawai‘i shifted its focus to create a local customer-driven business with centralized operations in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. They focused on offering products customers wanted to buy, where they wanted to buy them. The Hawai‘i team worked closely with Japan to build infrastructure that would grow the business. Hawai‘i leaned into basic principles such as distribution and IT systems, which would provide fresh, high-quality food statewide.

This led to some notable food innovations:

  • 7-Eleven Hawai‘i’s famous SPAM® Musubi was first introduced in 1994.
  • The company later introduced bento in 1998 and sushi in 2002

In the 2000s, Hawai‘i developed a local presence and incorporated more neighborhood and local offerings such as snacks, drinks, and staples. The Your Neighborhood Store concept, where each store has slightly different offerings catered to the local area, was introduced in 2012.

Today, 7-Eleven Hawai‘i continues to seek innovative products and services that will enhance the lives of our customers through convenience. Recently, 7-Eleven Hawai‘i introduced an online pickup and delivery option with an app called 7-Eleven Hawai‘i Express.

Do you have a favorite memory of 7-Eleven Hawai‘i? Share it with us in the comments or find us on Instagram and Facebook at @7elevenhi.

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