Steve Cardinale

Roundtable Series: Steve Cardinale, New Sunrise

New Sunrise Managing Director Steve Cardinale Steve Cardinale

What changes have you seen in the industry over the past year?

In terms of fuel, we are in over supply. There is healthy competition, and most towns have more petrol stations than are needed. With the simple supply and demand market forces one would expect fuel margins to be tight, and investment into a new-to-industry petrol station would be low, but this doesn’t appear to be the case. The opposite is true— we have a very healthy fuel margin and greater investment in new refurbishing and build sites, so something is fundamentally wrong, however whilst supply chain is controlled by Coles and Woolworths, I can’t see anything changing in the short term. If there is a risk it will be in supply.

What are the current issues facing the industry in your opinion?

Regardless of the vehicle type, vehicle ownership, its energy source, people will still be in them, people will still need to eat, drink and pee. The vehicle will still need to be fuelled, serviced and garaged and this will be our competitive advantage when people are on the move.

This industry has been uberised, the Convenience store was conceived in a world where supermarkets were open 8.30am to 5.30pm and closed at 12 noon on Saturday. The fundamental product mix of the industry has not changed much; tobacco still is the main contributor to sales and profit. One could argue that we are no longer convenient, when just about any C-store product can be delivered directly to the consumer wherever they are.

The home delivery market cannot be ignored and opens a great opportunity for progressive retailers.

Any personal milestones and/or company achievements you would like to highlight?

New Sunrise have been great innovators, there are many promotional mechanics which all our competitors use every month for example. New Sunrise invented the RFO, we were the first to have more than one product on a gondola end and added mix and match choices. New Sunrise was also the first to offer independents a quality point of sale kit including fridge stickers and promotional themes like flags and balloons. I am also proud that we were including the first independent retail system which can be measured through an incentive and compliance program as well though purchases data.

Finally I am proud to be a co-founder of Jack & Co, Jill & Jack Daily and Fix Convenience.

What are your predictions for the industry over the next 12 months?

The industry is focused on increasing fuel volume; I really don’t see any short term change in fuel supply that will put pressure on margins. We will probably see a few more independents being purchased by the majors.

My prediction is there will be a New Sunrise every day next year.

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