The EzyMart franchise chain held its annual conference and trade show in Sydney on Wednesday and there were more than 300 retailers and suppliers in attendance.
Speaking at the conference, EzyMart CEO Maher Magableh discussed the growth of the brand from a single store at Bondi Beach in 2001 to 213 sites, with more confirmed. He says EzyMart is always looking to other retailers – locally and internationally – to learn news things.
“When I go overseas on an engagement, I always learn something,” he said. “When I travel, I look and study the stores. This is how we develop and improve our business.”
Mr Magableh says the core categories of confectionery, health and beauty, beverages and snacks are performing well and that the next focus for EzyMart will be fresh food and coffee.
“I think it is the time to have this in Australia,” he said, “to start offering coffee and evolve the fresh section in the stores.”
The direction is supported by trends outlined by the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores Executive Director Jeff Rogut, who was the keynote speaker at the conference.
Mr Rogut presented examples of innovative convenience retailing from the US and UK and outlined the key opportunities for convenience in Australia: improving the costumer experience, acknowledging the price-perception barrier, growing on-the-go and utilising new technologies.
“Just looking at the EzyMart business, looking at the website, looking at the type of promotions, you’re well on the track,” he said.
“But EzyMart has the opportunity to take it further and really disrupt the industry and say to the long-established players, ‘The way you’ve been doing it is good, but here is a new and better way’.”
Retailers and suppliers were awarded at the dinner. EzyMart The Rocks Supermarket was named Shop of the Year and EzyMart Martin Place was awarded for ‘best customer service’.
Ben McDermott from Schweppes was given the CEO Appreciation Award. Although Mr McDermott has moved on to a different role within Schweppes and no longer manages the EzyMart account, he was awarded due to his hard work throughout the years with the EzyMart team.
Supplier of the Year was awarded to key category suppliers including Coca-Cola (beverage category) Mondelēz (confectionery), Optus (telecommunications) and Streets (snacks and ice-cream).
Suppliers also rewarded trade show attendees by offering prizes that were drawn at the end of the evening. Among the prizes up for grabs were a Coca-Cola branded bicycle, 4.5kg Toblerone from Mondelēz, an open fridge valued at $8,000 from Ayoub Supply, a Fujifilm camera from Fuji Xerox, and a pallet of drinks from Schweppes.