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    7-Eleven Shifts Marketing Strategy to Win Supermarket Customers

    DALLAS - 7-Eleven is planning a shift in its marketing strategy to emphasize competitive prices with grocery stores and others, company executives said last week during a conference call.

    DALLAS - 7-Eleven is planning a shift in its marketing strategy to emphasize competitive prices with grocery stores and others, company executives said last week during a conference call.

    "In 2003 we are moving to a different place from a business development and strategic" point of view, said Russ Klein, 7-Eleven's recently named managing director and chief marketing officer. Klein joined 7-Eleven earlier this month, replacing Bob Merz.

    The advertising campaign, slated to begin in March, will back a new program of aggressive pricing on high-volume everyday items such as milk and bread to allay the perception its prices are higher than those at grocery stores. At the same time, the campaign plans to push more profitable private-label products, as well as focus on 7-Eleven's fresh-food offerings, the executives said.

    The convenience chain is considering using radio advertising, while staying with TV, to further its push for its fresh, portable foods, including fresh entrees and salads.

    Merz in June launched a humorous campaign backing 7-Eleven's Big Eats deli sandwiches.

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