After posting a few photographs and comments about my visit to the Kwik-E-Mart in Maryland last month, I was able to talk about it with Coy Barefoot on his WINA-AM radio program.
One of the ideas that emerged from that conversation was what a brilliant marketing concept this was for 7-Eleven. It took what was, in essence, a negative image of itself from The Simpsons TV show and adapted that kritik into a positive, linking 7-Eleven to the opening of a popular animated film and generating loads of free media from the MSM and bloggers alike.
During my recent visit to Southern California (part of a two-week, five-state vacation), I was able to seek out another of the dozen Kwik-E-Marts in North America (one of two in the Los Angeles area). On the day after The Simpsons Movie opened, I trekked to the transfigured 7-Eleven at the corner of Olive and Verdugo in Burbank, California, where a queue of customers had formed. I was able to take some midday video footage -- an improvement over the still photos I took just past midnight in Bladensburg.
Of course, I took a few photographs of Kwik-E-Mart as well. There was no long line of waiting customers in Bladensburg, but there was one in Burbank, along with a security guard controlling the front entrance like a bouncer at Studio 54.
I didn't venture inside the store this time, leaving that to my traveling companion, Richard Morrison, who bought a couple of cloyingly sweet Squishies, a dozen Sprinklicious donuts, and a six-pack of Buzz Cola. (The store had run out of Krusty-O's.)
Watch this blog for more posts about my continent-wide travels between July 18 and August 1. You'll see photos and videos from Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, and Hurley in Wisconsin; Ironwood and Copper Peak in Michigan; Interstate 35 in Minnesota; the Reagan Library, Hollywood, and Santa Monica in California; and my nephew's first birthday party, with a Cookie Monster theme, in Encino.
For those of you who now, having seen the excitement, wish to visit a Kwik-E-Mart near your homes, I am afraid it's too late. As the trade publication Convenience Store Decisions put it on Tuesday, the curtain has closed on Kwik-E-Mart. I wonder, however, if blogger Doug Mataconis was able to visit more than one with his family?