Retailers address the pandemic


    What has been your greatest lesson to date, navigating through this pandemic?

    One of the greatest [lessons] we’ve taken from the unprecedented situation with COVID-19 is how well the OTR team has responded to the rapidly changing environment. This has been largely due to our operational structure, supporting more than 150 sites, and strong investment in communication and logistics. Having 24/seven trading hours for our sites and drive-through service at nearly 30 per cent of our sites also meant that OTR was prepared for the strong demand from customers for supermarket essentials during this pandemic.

    How has your community interaction changed over the last couple of months?

    OTR has always had a focus on in-app pre-ordering of food, coffee and shop items on the OTR app, which became an advantage in encouraging contactless payments and minimal in-store transactions. Our open hours also enabled customers to shop for whatever they need, whenever they needed to buy it, which has reduced crowds and promoted social distancing in-store. Our community support through ‘OTRGive’ has seen us donated nearly $270,000 since the program launched and this has continued throughout the pandemic, with additional food care packs delivered to vulnerable community members isolating, in partnership with local [South Australian] supplier Skala Bakery.

    ANGUS MCKAY, 7-Eleven CEO

    What has been your greatest lesson to date, navigating through this pandemic?

    Moments like these require strong leadership and a team that’s able to adapt and operate under the most trying of circumstances. The 7-Eleven leaders, both support office and store leaders, have been brilliant. The entire organisation has rallied around the issues, and each other, to deal with every obstacle that’s been put in front of them. I’m incredibly proud of our people and how they’ve worked together to adapt to what’s needed to keep serving our customers safely.

    How has your community interaction changed over the last couple of months?

    We’ve just launched 7-Eleven delivery in Melbourne, so for customers who can’t get to us, we can get to them. This new service is ideal for people unable to get out to get basic essentials or ready-to-eat foods, and need delivery within a shorter time frame. In some suburbs, there are within-the-hour delivery options, but for most suburbs, customers can order for next-day delivery. Our stores are open in line with their usual trading hours and provide a great alternative for essential-service workers and people going out for fuel, food and other staples. We’re committed to working with our franchisees, store leaders and store teams to provide essential services and supplies to our community. We’re here for you 24/seven.

    Read the full interview in the latest issue of Convenience World May/June.

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