The New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) has named the four 2021 Peter Jowett finalists who will compete for this year’s two scholarship prizes.

The Peter Jowett scholarship is a unique opportunity to celebrate and challenge future industry leaders. Candidates must be under the age of 36 and are given the platform to present their ideas on a specific topic in front of leaders of the New Zealand convenience industry.

The four 2021 Peter Jowett finalists will present on the scholarship topic:

“In light of COVID-19 and the changes in shopper behaviour and dynamics, what opportunities has this pandemic presented for convenience retailers to change the way they retail, and look for areas to deliver sales growth and foot traffic for their businesses?”

The winner and runner-up will both win a $1,000 personal travel prize and a $3,000 professional development grant to be used in conjunction with their respective companies.

Dave Hooker, Executive Director, NZACS, highlighted the significant effort that goes into entering the Peter Jowett scholarship, and commended the four finalists for their achievement.

“We would like to congratulate our four Peter Jowett scholarship finalists. To get to this stage the finalists have already spent significant time on research and documentation to prepare themselves for the big night. The effort required should not be underestimated and we look forward to watching and listening to their final presentations.”

Meet the finalists…

Andrew Olsen, Key Account Manager P&C, Frucor Suntory

Andrew Olsen is a Key Account Manager – Petrol and Convenience at Frucor Suntory, where he has worked for the past five years.

Speaking exclusively to C&I NZ, he describes being named as a finalist of the 2021 Peter Jowett scholarship as “a real honour” and the “highlight” of his career.

“To have the opportunity to present in front of so many of our industry leaders is something not too many people have the chance to do,” he said.

“I believe this year’s topic in particular is so interesting as we have seen COVID-19 play a large role in the shape of the current retail sector and what it will look like over the next few years. Not only creating new trends but significantly accelerating trends we were already seeing take shape pre the pandemic.

“Personally, this opportunity will be a highlight of my short five year career, believing that the various skills and roles I have been lucky enough to learn during this journey will shape a well-rounded argument come time to present.”

Chad Beets, Specialist Trade Marketing Rep, British American Tobacco New Zealand

Chad Beets started with British American Tobacco New Zealand (BAT NZ) as a Trade Marketing Representative and has since been promoted to Specialist Trade Marketing Representative. He says he really enjoys meeting and having commercial discussions with convenience retailers daily.

“This role has been pivotal to my growth in the company, allowing me to gain invaluable knowledge of the convenience retail sector and its challenges. I have recently been promoted to Specialist Trade Marketing Representative with a focus on projects, reporting and training. This role excites me and is full of opportunities, for example, to develop initiatives for BAT’s National Field Team and provide training to our team on the road.”

Beets told C&I NZ that it feels “amazing” to be a 2021 Peter Jowett scholarship finalist.

“While it has been a long (but full of learning) process to get to this stage, I am excited to present on the night,” he said.

“I believe that the Peter Jowett scholarship programme is so important to the convenience sector as it creates a platform for creativity, allowing participants to present ideas from their own observations and personal experiences within the convenience sector.”

Speaking of the evolution of the convenience landscape, Beets told C&I NZ: “I believe that technology will become further ingrained in the convenience landscape with all channels looking at how they can make transactions simpler and faster for the consumer. I look for advancements in technology to influence the purchasing patterns of future and current consumers.

“Traditionally high volume and high value categories are in decline requiring retailers to stay vigilant on upcoming trends with a smaller window for error.”

Kailee Weir, Trade Marketing Rep, British American Tobacco New Zealand

Kailee Weir is a 29-year-old who has recently joined British American Tobacco New Zealand (BAT NZ) as a Trade Marketing Representative. Prior to this she was working as a territory sales manager at a nationally recognised boutique craft beer company.

Speaking exclusively to C&I NZ, Weir said that she loves working with people and being at the coalface. She also relishes a challenge and says that the Peter Jowett Scholarship has been an “incredibly exciting opportunity so far”.

“Peter Jowett influences lateral thinking around possible solutions to issues faced by the convenience sector,” she says. “And it encourages up and coming leaders to stretch their approach when developing innovative solutions.

“We are currently in a sociocultural shift towards embracing technology and streamlining the customer user experience. The future of the convenience sector is reliant on embracing these shifts, whilst ensuring it is user friendly and efficient.

“I am proud to represent BAT in addressing current challenges surrounding the convenience sector and offer solutions as to how we can progress under the current environmental and socioeconomic changes.”

Sergei Morgun, Trade Marketing Representative, British American Tobacco New Zealand

Sergei Morgun has an extensive history in the convenience channel dating back to 2003. He began working at bp as a barista and in customer service at Café Zip before the Wild Bean brand was introduced in New Zealand. He ultimately worked his way up to become a bp retail store manager in 2006.

In 2013 he began working at British American Tobacco New Zealand (BAT NZ). He has held various project roles and is currently out in the trade as a Trade Marketing Representative.

In speaking with C&I NZ, Morgun explains how it feels to be recognised as a finalist in the running for the Peter Jowett scholarship.

“It has been a great honour and privilege to be named a finalist. It is a great opportunity to present my idea in front of the convenience sector key stakeholders. A great amount of time was spent on preparation and research, and it pays off dividends in the end, which is reassuring that the idea is financially viable,” he said.

“I believe the Peter Jowett scholarship brings in fresh ideas and outside the box thinking to the convenience sector. Some of the ideas presented previously have already been implemented by the convenience sector. This reinforces that some Peter Jowett ideas make financial sense and offers an opportunity to the convenience sector to grow sales and increase foot traffic to their stores.”

We asked Morgun how he sees the convenience landscape in New Zealand evolving into 2021 and beyond, and he highlighted the changing nature of retail.

“As we move away from fossil fuel internal combustion engines and onto electric vehicles there will be a greater demand for electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers available at service stations. As charging times are a lot longer versus filling your vehicle with fuel (20 minutes versus two minutes) consumers will have to spend more time in-store as they wait. This provides a great opportunity to capture a store sale and an increase in basket spend while they wait for their vehicle battery to recharge.”

He also highlights a move away from cash payments and further mainstream adoption of smart payments technology such as AliPay, WeChatPay, Apple Pay, Google Pay etc.

And when it comes to the challenges facing the sector, Morgun speaks of the economic burden being felt by businesses across the country.

“Economic costs of doing business continues to put pressure on businesses that ultimately may be passed onto consumers. For example, higher minimum wages, fuel prices and increase in sick leave days are all additional costs that recently kicked in, in tough economic conditions.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *