D'Oh! The Simpsons' stores spring to life

LOS ANGELES Tue Jul 3, 2007 9:21am EDT

1 of 6. A poster with 'The Simpsons' character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Jr., proprietor of the Springfield Kwik-E-Mart, is displayed on the window of a 7-Eleven convenience store in Burbank, California, July 2, 2007. The store was converted into a 'Kwik-E- Mart', made famous by the popular animated television program. Specially themed products from the show, such as cans of Buzz cola and Krusty-O's cereal, were on sale.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fans of "The Simpsons" TV show now have the chance to shop for some of Homer and Bart's favorite snacks -- in a real-life convenience store straight out of the animated town of Springfield.

As part of a promotion in which life imitates cartoons, the 7-Eleven convenience store chain on Monday transformed 11 of its U.S. outlets into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional mini-market made famous by the popular animated TV comedy.

The Kwik-E-Mart make-over is promotion for "The Simpsons Movie," set to be released July 27 by News Corp's 20th Century Fox. But 7-Eleven is picking up all the costs.

"What we're doing is bringing the movie to reality," said Sandra Olmedo, a market manager with 7-Eleven. "We're bringing the cartoon to life."

Clerks wear name tags saying "Apu wannabe," emulating the animated proprietor of the Springfield store. Signs hung in the window show the good-natured Apu telling customers: "Thank you for loitering. Come again."

Besides shopping at the Kwik-E-Marts, fans can buy the favorite products of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie -- KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola, Squishee frozen drinks and pink-frosted doughnuts.

The products are available at almost all 7-Eleven locations, Olmedo said, not just the transformed stores.

Simpsons fans appear to have a real-life appetite for the animated brands: the Burbank store outside Los Angeles has already had to reorder KrustyO's cereal.

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