Store Review: Ampol Pheasants Nest Service Centres

After four years of hard work, Ampol’s Pheasants Nest Service Centres have opened. Conveniently located on the Hume Highway at Pheasants Nest in NSW, the redeveloped sites offer the perfect place to refuel both body and vehicle.

Kate Thomson, Executive General Manager – Retail Australia at Ampol, explained that both the northbound and southbound service centres include a large food court area with both indoor and outdoor dining areas, children’s play areas, truck driver amenities, separated fuel and diesel canopies and a fresh convenience offer to help meet the needs of commuters and local customers on both sides of the Hume Highway.

“We have even catered for the comfort of furry family members with enclosed off-leash dogs parks.

“The Pheasants Nest service centres are some of Ampol’s biggest truck-friendly sites with nine pumps available at each of our two brand new diesel canopies as well as ample parking and shower, lounge room and laundry facilities.”

The Pheasants Nest sites are some of Ampol’s biggest truck-friendly sites with ultra-high flow pumps and Ad-blue available under two brand new 5.3-metre-high diesel canopies, with each accessed via a dedicated truck entrance.

“Ampol is proud of the role it plays supporting our customers in the transport and freight sector. The redeveloped Pheasants Nest sites are the latest enhancements to our National Truck Network of roughly 380 sites across Australia.

“Our new Pheasants Nest sites include long-haul driver amenities such as a dedicated driver’s lounge which includes 24-hour access to a tv, microwaves and individual toilet, shower, and laundry facilities,” said Thomson.

A world-class offering

A recent review of Ampol’s retail operations, has provided the company with greater flexibility in leveraging the entire network to execute the next phase of Ampol’s retail strategy, including the investment of its major highway sites such as Pheasants Nest.

Thomson explained that they have evolved their convenience offer to meet the changing needs of customers and to capture the growing convenience market opportunity.

“Both Pheasants Nest sites play host to Ampol’s largest collective retail convenience offering to date. In addition to Ampol Foodary, Hungry Jack’s, Oporto, Krispy Kreme, Boost Juice, Oliver’s, and Durk’s Café are all now available at Pheasants Nest.

“It’s important that our customers, particularly those long dwell customers, are able to refuel and re-energise with a vast convenience offer and in the comfort of our modernised facilities, landscaped rest areas, and for the safety of the kids, a secure playground.”

Ampol has also taken into account that cost of living will remain a challenge for customers of retail convenience networks into 2024, whether that be the increased cost of business operations or on personal household budgets.

“This will influence how the industry will go to market with range and pricing, in order to attract and retain customers. Shopping habits have changed and are directly linked with the cost of living, meaning shoppers are searching for promotions and value more than ever before.

“Customers visiting Ampol Foodary retail sites can expect to see more value-driven offers, like our recent $2 ‘Pie Day Friday’ and $5 ‘Crave ‘n Save’ offers,” said Thomson.

Future focused

As an Australian company that has been around for over 100 years, Ampol understands the important role its national infrastructure and network plays across the nation every week.

“Our national network is located along major transport infrastructure in metropolitan and regional areas, meaning we are well-positioned to continue our evolution to meet the changing needs of our customers and keep powering the Australian way of life.

“It’s important we continue to invest in areas that matter, such as our highway sites, to deliver an excellent Ampol experience for our customers. At every Ampol site, we strive to make our customers’ time with us more efficient, comfortable and convenient.”

As part of that evolution, the opening of the Pheasants Nest sites coincides with the unveiling of first-of-its-kind AmpCharge electric vehicle charging hubs, with 12 charging bays across the two forecourts providing up to 300kW of power to serve EV drivers, forming part of Ampol’s national commitment to install over 300 charging bays by the end of 2024.

“We will continue to see the forecourt evolve, alongside the roll out of elective vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition to the forecourt itself, the petrol and convenience industry will be looking to see how they can offer the most value to customers while they charge.  

“Site amenity, security and cleanliness is critical to attract customers making the transition given charging an EV naturally requires longer dwell times.

“Having a quick service restaurant (QSR) and broader retail offer is also important to deliver for our customers. Allowing EV users to grab a meal, coffee, or even ingredients for dinner while they charge is critical and provides a reason to bypass remote charging sites next to highways with little amenity.”

Secret to success

Looking at what makes a successful convenience retailer, Thomson offers advice to other retailers hoping to improve their offering by focusing on both suppliers and customers.

“Focusing on the customer and their evolving needs will help suppliers and retailers work collaboratively together. It’s a partnership, and so being aligned and clear on business goals and objectives is the foundation of ensuring a good working relationship across both parties.”

When it comes to the customer, Thomson said it is important to be laser focused on delivering to their needs.

“This includes satisfying all parts of the customer journey from pre-store engagement to site location and facilities, to products and offers in store and excellent operations and customer service. At the end of the day, we are here to serve customers and cannot thrive without them.”

This article was originally published in the February/March issue of Convenience and Impulse Retailing Magazine.

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