Leaders Forum: Olympian Products


Executive Director, Olympian Products and Distribution 

What do you most enjoy about convenience and what is one challenge you’d like to see addressed in the industry?

That the convenience industry is dynamic and always evolving. I also enjoy launching brands to consumers which large department stores are reluctant to do. Convenience is at the forefront of consumers’ minds. The ability of convenience to launch products is often neglected by suppliers and overrun by the majors, which creates its own challenges. While the majors are moving towards a higher percentage of private label products, convenience has the ability to support brands and companies that are looking to launch innovative products. The challenge for convenience is ensuring that brands are well supported so they can be moved off the shelf.

Highlight one achievement at Olympian Products you’re particularly proud of in the last 12 months.

Olympian has in the past 12 months supported and launched international products which have previously had a difficult time succeeding in this market. Supporting these high quality brands and building awareness of the products, adding new ranges to our portfolio and building our own profile have been our successes.

How has Olympian Products adapted to the evolving challenges of COVID-19?

Reducing minimum order quantities, providing direct deliveries and changing our product mix has enabled us to adapt. Extending our range back in February by adding PPE products including sanitisers, dispensers, wet wipes and other sanitary items enabled us to continue supporting our customers with their additional needs. Underpinning these actions is maintaining our pricing at competitive rates, rather than gouging by taking advantage of the demand. These responses and our great service has enabled us to keep and build our loyal customer base.

How do you envision the next six months for convenience?

Convenience retailers will have to adapt to the higher hygiene standards consumers have come to expect if they want to maintain their customer base. The majors have an advantage with their size, so cleanliness will be key. Fortunately, it’s economical and easy to install permanent sanitising stations, so improving hygiene protocols shouldn’t be burdensome. As the market itself continues to evolve with more consumers working from home, they’ll be looking to purchase multi packs and convenience items in bulk. There will be more of a focus on grab-and-go, individually wrapped items and take-home packs.

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