The opportunity to multi-franchise is a key growth area for petrol and convenience (P&C) retailers, says Dominique Lamb, CEO, National Retail Association (NRA).

Lamb was speaking at a webinar hosted by the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) this morning, where she identified multi-franchising as an area that should be at the forefront of the minds of P&C retailers.

While a number of larger chains already include other franchises on site, such as Ampol with Boost Juice, and EG with Oliver’s and now Pizza Hut, Lamb believes there is still the opportunity for others to do so.

Lamb said P&C retailers should be looking to the European model and what they have done in terms of consumer retail offers.

“Those roadhouses where you go and virtually everything is in there. It’s almost like a one-stop-shop or a smaller version of a strip shop that includes all the things you need at your convenience. If you could get an Australia Post on site, I think that would be a great idea. If you could partner with a food provider or even dry cleaning, anything that will make someone’s life easier.”

Theo Foukkare, CEO AACS, said British-based retailer EG Group is a global standout in this space.

“Their offers in the UK, Europe and the US have capitalised on the multi-franchise tenant offers, which has been wildly successful.”

Closer to home, Foukkare said OTR has for many years invested heavily in creating multiple food branded offers in its network, which has delivered very good results and aligned with the customer needs.

“OTR has a combination of its own food and coffee brands, while also partnering with majors like Subway, Wok in a Box, Hungry Jacks and Oporto, to name just a few.”

In a recent article published in C&I Retailing magazine Skye Jackson, General Manager Merchandise at Ampol, said Ampol’s partnership with Boost Juice has attracted new customers.

“In the Australian market, partnering with established quick service restaurants and co-locating has been the more traditional approach to introducing food service into the P&C channel. We’ve done this with Boost, as an example, and have found it has attracted incremental customer segments,” said Jackson.

In addition to the multi-franchising opportunity, Lamb also highlighted the importance of P&C stores having an online presence.

“You can’t afford to not offer delivery; I think you should be in that space. At least a drop pin on Google so people can find you. Especially if you’re going to offer other services but I think now more than ever people want to be able to have things delivered to them whenever they want.”

Foukkare echoed that sentiment.

“Retailers should be effectively replicating their in-store range to a digital range and providing consumers with the ability to buy what they want when they want. We already get customers into our stores on average about two and a half times a week. Why don’t we get into their household when they’re sitting on the couch?”

During the webinar, Lamb spoke about the State of Retail in Australia and highlighted further opportunities for what lies ahead, which C&I will publish over the next week.

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