by AZALEA AZUAR / pic MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
EARLIER in June, there were photos circulating on social media about a new 7-Eleven (7E) “mega store” making its way to Bandar Puteri Puchong, Selangor.
7CAFé Bandar Puteri Puchong is unlike other 7E stores as it stands two storeys tall and has a big, noticeable “7-Eleven” logo displayed outside upon a modern-looking facade.
That was the exterior. The interior, on the other hand, is larger compared to other outlets you’ve ever visited as each floor measures 3,000 sq ft.
Therefore, making it more than 6,000 sq ft in total — the biggest 7E store in Malaysia.
One can explore a wide range of Japanese food products, 7E’s own merchandise (such as shirts, mugs, tumblers and pillows), Funko Pop figurines, Harry Potter merchandise and even those popular “Derp Tiger Face” dolls.
There is also a food counter which serves fresh hot food and snacks, where customers can enjoy their meals at a small designated seating area in the corner, apart from its usual Slurpees.
Artisanal Beverages and Pastries Above
If you want more space to unwind, there are more sitting areas when you walk upstairs where the main highlights of the flagship store are.
Owning up to its name, the whole floor is dedicated to a cafe which serves freshly-baked pastries and finely-crafted beverages by Niko Neko Matcha.
According to 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd co-CEO Tan U-Ming, the Croffle is a fan-favourite among the customers.
“I think it’s interesting because a crumble is a combination of a croissant and a waffle, so you get the best of both worlds.
“We have a few different varieties of croffles, so we have the savoury as well as the sweet ones,” he told The Malaysian Reserve after the launch of the 7CAFé Bandar Puteri Puchong flagship store.
For those who wish to craft their own artisan beverages from the comfort of their own homes, the store also sells Niko Neko Matcha’s Houjicha and Genmaicha powder, as well as its special utensils.
Apart from food and beverages, the second floor also sells beauty products from well-known international brands such as Boots, Farm Skin, Beauty Buffet and Nadeshika.
Elevated Shopping Experience
At more than 6,000 sq ft, the flagship store is spacious enough to enable 7E to offer better shopping experience to its customers.
“Well, I think our offering is a bit different for this location. If you look downstairs, we have ample space to provide a whole host of products.
“The 7CAFé downstairs has all our fresh food and ready-to-eat products. We have expanded the range quite a bit,” Tan added.
Its collaborations with Sheldonet, which offers the fun Funko Pops, and Niko Neko Matcha, which specialises in premium-quality matcha, provide customers with a different vibe and excitement.
Tan said the transition from being a convenience store only to becoming a full-fledged cafe, which also sells books, came about when thinking about life post Covid. He felt that people want more out of life and out of their consumer experience now, after living with the pandemic for almost two years.
Currently, 7E has a total of 28 7CAFés across the Klang Valley and this outlet marks the brand’s 25th 7CAFé.
Bandar Puteri Puchong was chosen as the location for the flagship store due to its traffic and activity.
“We reviewed a lot of locations based on the demographics, traffic here and the activities here. We felt that this is a very suitable location.
“We’re quite lucky to have found this location and met our landlord partner, who was able to provide us with this location,” Tan added.
The brand is also working on expanding outside the Klang Valley.
A Perfect Place to Work Remotely
The new 7CAFé has redefined the shopping experience in convenience stores, where customers do not just go there to shop for necessities and snacks.
They can now dine-in, hang-out with friends, spend ample time with family or even finish their university projects. The launch is also timely as the endemic phase has opened the door to gig and remote workers.
Cafes are an ideal place to work due to the acceptable background noise and lack of co-worker interruptions, which boost productivity.
“I think as an organisation, we definitely would say we’re open to it and I think we’re also very supportive of the gig economy.
“We allow our store colleagues to have that flexibility,” Tan added.
Customers who wish to work in the 7CAFé can enjoy the free WiFi, but he hopes that they can grab some of the food and snacks on offer, too.
After all, who wouldn’t be comfortable working in a peaceful environment, while enjoying a sip of Niko Neko Matcha’s high-quality and reasonable drinks!
Mini Bookstore at Reasonable Prices
7CAFé Bandar Puteri Puchong also houses a mini bookstore by BookXcess Sdn Bhd, which is known for its reasonably-priced books. The space has 2,000 books for sale, with 500 titles ranging from popular genres such as Non-Fiction, Children’s Books and Fiction to Business and Self-Help.
BookXcess co-founder Andrew Yap applauds 7E for trying to help them expand while also setting up a community-based store, and felt that this is a really nice concept.
“The location is so great and they chose the best location…It is busy here every weekend and I’ve came here three times.”
Book lovers can browse for their favourite authors’ works and if you can’t wait to get home to start reading, just buy a book on the spot and read as you enjoy your specialty drink.
7CAFé Bandar Puteri Puchong is a matcha, toys and books heaven! Expect the flagship store to be crowded as it’s newly opened, but do visit to experience the cool and laidback vibe that it evokes.
Is the hype worth it? It certainly is! — TMR