As part of the 2022 C&I Industry Leaders Forum Tal Avrahami, Director, Smooth Wholesales, discusses helping retailers generate more profits and the joy of working with independents and small businesses.

C&I: What were the highlights for Smooth Wholesales in 2021?

Avrahami: During the turbulent times of pandemic lockdowns, Smooth Wholesales empowered petrol and convenience (P&C) operators to capitalise on general merchandise sales. This enabled operators to source affordable and profitable products to meet consumer demands. Being a proudly Australian business, we were delighted to help retailers wherever we could without closing our doors for one single day during Covid.

C&I: What will be the focus for Smooth Wholesales for the remainder of 2022?

Avrahami: We hit the ground running at the start of the year, solidifying relationships with suppliers to offer our customers a more comprehensive core range including auto care accessories and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. We will continue to bring our customers competitive pricing and endeavour to exceed their expectations as we look to keep growing our business.

C&I: How have you noticed the channel evolving and how can retailers best prepare themselves for the future?

Avrahami: A lot of people fixate on how electric vehicles will impact the P&C industry, however, for now, the one thing that interests me is how convenience stores can capitalise on their prime locations and cater to the growing demands of consumers. Consumer tastes evolve and companies need to be agile in how they meet those needs. I think these stores have such great potential to offer their customers more than just chips and drinks. It’s time the industry shifts the age-old paradigm of ‘servos are expensive’ to ‘servos have great affordable products’.

C&I: What is one challenge you’d like to see addressed within the convenience channel?

Avrahami: Coming from a family that’s been in P&C for 40 or so years, the challenge I identified was accessing high quality and affordable stock that enables the business to generate more profits, not just make ends meet. It’s not going to be easy, but I want to demonstrate to P&C stores Australia-wide that to run successfully they need to buy smart and use every tool at their disposal to appeal to customers.

C&I: What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Avrahami: One of the most rewarding things when you work with independents and small businesses is seeing them succeed. I love hearing from our customers that those products they didn’t ever imagine selling are one of their best sellers. It just reinforces our belief that sometimes you need to try new things, take small risks, and evolve. Being complacent won’t help you continually exceed your monthly goals.

C&I: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Avrahami: If you’re reading this and something resonates with you, don’t hesitate, and get in touch with us. We’re about helping customers, not just making a sale.

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