Joanna Graham, Senior Manager Convenience Trading ANZ, bp, tells the C&I Industry Leaders Forum about the continued growth of bp convenience.
C&I: What do you most enjoy about convenience and what is one challenge you’d like to see addressed in the industry?
Graham: I love the dynamic nature of convenience! It’s extremely satisfying to be talking about something in the office one week and see it activated in-store the next. And the small box format means that every inch of space must work hard. We really have to know and understand our customer and make good decisions about what we range.
The biggest challenge is keeping pace with the rate of change in retail, particularly in the areas of digital and automation.
C&I: Highlight one achievement at bp you’re particularly proud of from over the past 12 months.
Graham: bp has a long history of working closely with our community partners, and we didn’t back away from this in 2020, despite the unprecedented and very challenging environment. We partnered with our suppliers on in-store activations to raise much needed funds for OzHarvest and McGrath Foundation. Bp was also able to support the Royal Flying Doctors Service and St Johns Ambulance with donations of medical grade masks at the peak of the pandemic. I’m really proud of the contribution we’ve made and will continue to make to these worthy organisations.
C&I: What is the immediate focus for bp in 2021?
Graham: bp convenience has enjoyed a strong start to the year and we expect to see continued growth. We are increasingly catering for different types of shopper missions and looking for ways to encourage new consumers to the channel, including via online, which we see as an increasingly important platform.
C&I: How do you envision the next six months for convenience?
Graham: It’s an interesting time as we’re not quite out of the woods in terms of the pandemic. We could yet see further lockdowns and border closures, and it’s unclear when and if consumer behaviour will fully return to ‘normal’. It’s more important than ever to stay close to our consumer and ensure we are pivoting quickly to meet their changing needs and expectations.
C&I: How do you see the food service model evolving to meet changing consumer needs?
Graham: P&C is now omnichannel and I think we’ll continue to see growth of home delivery of grocery top-up, snacking and meal occasions. Our customers are asking for fresh food, they’re expecting quality, and the channel has room to grow in terms of evolving the food-on-the-go and food-for-later offers both in-store and online.