Seattle's Kwik-E-Mart

Despite my best attempts to not read through my RSS feeds in morning, I stumbled across an article about 7-Eleven turning some of their stores turned into Kwik-E-Marts. Well, I was curious, so I looked up the locations on 7-Eleven's website.

Not only was there one in Seattle, but it was just a few blocks from my apartment. I took a small detour on my way to work this morning to visit it.

I was somewhat impressed by the thoroughness of the Kwik-E-Mart makeovers:

Repainting the outside

Squishee & Buzz Cola Machines

Changing the sign on the top of 7-Eleven

Cardboard cut-outs of Simpsons characters (Ralph, Chief Wiggum, Lisa, Bart, Maggie, etc)

Kwik-E-Mart Chairs

Employees wearing Kwik-E-Mart uniforms

I have a few more pictures up on my Picasaweb album.

It's the last thing - employees wearing Kwik-E-Mart uniforms - that stuck me as being strange. As it just so happened, the guy at the cash register was indeed Indian. Ok, fine, dress up your stores... but your employees? Really? Are they commodities like that? And in those stores who have Indian/Pakistani employees, it feels a tad uncomfortable - like the stereotype is screaming at you.

The makeover, while somewhat amusing, just strikes me as being a little tacky. It's like 7-Eleven is a Disneyland ride, themed and all. But hey, that's marketing, right?