Why Do Convience Stores Like 7-Eleven Seem To Mainly Use Analog Cameras?

Why do convience stores like 7-eleven seem to mainly use analog cameras even newly built ones?


I think the biggest reason: Ultra-low cost. Not hundreds per camera, more like tens. Profit margins are ultra-thin on gasoline and candy bars, so there just is not much money to spend on these systems.

They very uncommonly use a security vendor to design/install surveillance systems. Often the franchise manager orders a single pre-designed CCTV System SKU from the central fixtures supplier, and a maintenance guy or the point-of-sale technician installs it. It has to be easy to install. Plug 'n play is a real factor.

The entire transaction is boiled down to something like reordering styrofoam cups or more doughnuts - all the decisions have already been made by corporate and cost has been negotiated to a flat number. Very little consideration is given to performance, with a disproportionate emphasis on system cost.

I think that when convenience / small retail stores 'upgrade' to HD, it will be something like HD-CVI, but probably not IP.

I see a lot of the stores do have bosch for example. How do those cameras comapre even to basic ip cameras?

Here in Texas, we have these massive meg-stations called buc ee's. They all easily have 75 cameras per location. All Avigilon. The same with QT – also Avigilon.

Some prioritize video more than others.

The percentage of convenience stores that have premium brands, including Axis, Sony, Panasonic, is a distinct minority. Let's be clear about that.

From what I've seen, and this is anecdotal, not an exhaustive study, most chain convenience stores have better brands. Wawa, for example, generally uses Bosch and Exacq. Sheetz, the other chain here, also uses Bosch. I think they likely both have corporate standards and purchasing.

7-11 is primarily a franchise, though, so the individual owner is up to purchasing security gear. As would any small mom and pop shop. I'd say a solid majority fall under this category, hence seeing so much no-name or cheap junk poorly installed all over the place.

Oh. I missed that study.

Mike, you offered 2 small stores in Texas. I am giving context. If you have examples of large chains or other areas, please share.

I gave two LARGE examples in a LARGE state. Neither of the examples I provided would be considered small in my book.

Quick Trip - 700 stores in eleven states.

Buc ee's - 24 stores in Texas.

I would compare these along the same lines as the 7-eleven example provided in the OP vs. the “Ken’s Corner Mart" no?

7-Eleven has 53,000 total locations worldwide, including over 8,000 in the US.

Compare to your 'large' example of 24 stores.

If you have more specific chains to cite, feel free. Otherwise, no semantics debate here.

The metapoint is fairly obvious - stores with small camera counts per location but lots of locations - convenience stores, QSRs, even banks, tend to favor analog and tend to favor lower cost.

All wawa's in south jersey and PA use exacq and Bosch cameras from what I have seen. Both premium brands.

Actually, I do not agree that the metapoint is fairly obvious especially when it pertains to 7-eleven. Do you have the research on this? The few examples I have provided along with my experience in the petro-chem vertical in the past contradicts the thought that each of the stores are “on their own” and have cheap analog systems installed.

7-Eleven – http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-7-eleven-lawsuits-20140605-story.html#page=1

“In the 2012 fiscal year, the company spent $40 million on digital video technology, installing 4,000 camera systems in nine months, many of which 7-Eleven can access remotely. Many stores now have a 360-degree camera and a 180-degree analytics camera at the front door with the ability to measure traffic, the time consumers spend in stores and other analytics.”

Here is a link on ACTi’s website – again, contradicting the statement that 7-eleven uses analog systems.

http://www.acti.com/news/Successful_Project/SPR_retail_in_Japan

Mike, you say, "Here is a link on ACTi’s website – again, contradicting the statement that 7-eleven uses analog systems."

This does not contradict anyone's statement here. Here's David's opening remark "convience stores like 7-eleven seem to mainly use analog cameras." And I said they "tend to favor analog." We all recognize that there are some IP in these stores but it's mainly analog, even today.

The LATimes article citing 'many stores' reference is inconclusive. They have 50,000+ stores so if 300 have 360 degree cameras, that counts as many.

As for your ACTi Japan case study, here's what I said above:

"The percentage of convenience stores that have premium brands, including Axis, Sony, Panasonic, is a distinct minority. Let's be clear about that."

ACTi is not a premium brand. I have seen other regional convenience stores use ACTi and Vivotek because they are cost conscious.

Axis, Avigilon, Sony, Panasonic - these brands are not the norm at convenience stores because of cost. And to the extent that IP gets into stores, it is largely, but not exclusively driven, by low cost offerings.

Btw, "$40 million on digital video technology, installing 4,000 camera systems" works out to $10,000 per store system. This is a realistic level for them but not the number to get outfitted with premium IP video systems.

Unless you have a study that shows vertical specific manufacture data, we will have to agree to disagree.

The information that I have provided so far illustrates a trend in IP based technology in large retail convenience store chains – including 7-eleven. Not analog systems.

Are there analog systems still installed? You bet! Are there still 7-elevens with analog systems? You bet! Is that the trend? It doesn’t appear to be the case.

Why did the discussion go from being about analog technology to premium brand anyhow? I think it is pretty obvious why 7-eleven has not deployed 50,000+ Axis cameras when the CEO can put a check in that box on his to-do list for a fraction of the cost.

Mike, Your evidence for 7-Eleven being IP based is an ACTI Japan case study and an article in the LA Times that vaguely references things like "7-Eleven can access [surveillance video] remotely." Not compelling.

John, is this how your discussion boards work? You police and hand-pick comments to fit your narrative?

I included a link (news article) that stated 7-eleven (100% related to the OP’s comment) installed 4 THOUSAND systems comprised of 180/360 and video analytics (presumably IP based). This is completely relevant to the discussion no?

They are as compelling as your comment “The percentage of convenience stores that have premium brands, including Axis, Sony, Panasonic, is a distinct minority. Let's be clear about that.” Supported with ZERO information or evidence.

"I included a link (news article) that stated 7-eleven (100% related to the OP’s comment) installed 4 THOUSAND systems comprised of 180/360 and video analytics (presumably IP based)."

Mike, the article did NOT say how many of those 4,000 stores had 180/360 cameras nor video analytics. That's your words, not theirs. They simply said 'many', which could be 50, 100, 3000, etc. And you are admittedly presuming that the analytics are IP when there are many DVRs that support video analytics for analog cameras.

Moreover, the article you provided also acknowledges that not all of them can even be accessed remotely, which is not a good sign for your IP camera case (i.e., "many of which 7-Eleven can access remotely.")

The article is vague about how many total stores have which type of technology.

I agree though most quick checks and 711's have cheap shit surveillance systems.

I haven't studied these stores as only becoming recently interested in getting involved in surveillance whereas in years past I only installed security alarms in domestic residences and small businesses where we performed electrical work also.

Anyone else prepared to admit they installed dummy cameras for a stingy corner store owner some time in their career?! :D

I would comment a badly obsolete or poorly maintained analog camera system could offer little more protection than a few dummy box cameras complete with flashing LEDs - not much better than a deterrent to a candy-pinching kid!

It seems like HD-TVI will be an incredible step forward in getting these cash-strapped store owners on board with affordable AND effective surveillance - no more excuses...

My company was the runner up to Clickit, the company that won the project with 7-11. They installed a combination of analog and IP cameras using OEM ACTI 360, bullets and POS integration. These systems were paid for by 7-11 and the last I heard the store owners had no access to these systems. These systems can be accessed only by 7-11 corporate and used to monitor POS transactions and franchise preformance. Franchises that want cameras had to go buy their own, and most of them purchased analog.

I believe IP in conveinet stores is still not common becuase just like Brian mentioned they want cheap cheap. They also require many Monitors to help prevent theft that makes it priciy to deploy decoders, etc

Moreover, many of the "Installers" that install these systems for cheap does not know how to install IP and stick to what they know.