The evolution of customers’ shopping habits – particularly over the past 12 months – has had a prolific effect on the convenience retail market. Retailers have benefited from increased visits where food to go crosses over with other shopping missions. Franchisees have been praising One Stop for their flexible model, which has allowed them to seamlessly introduce new footfall leading initiatives into store, especially in the ‘food to go’ sector.
Ratheesan Vinayagmoorthy currently runs seven One Stop stores but it is his latest store in Chiltern Avenue, Bedford where Rathee has seen a marked change in customer demand. With many food and drink establishments being closed due to lockdown restrictions, Rathee has seen his ‘food to go’ options soaring.
“We brought into this store a number of providers including Costa Coffee, Tango Ice Blast, Rollover Hotdogs, Fwip Ice cream and F’Real Milkshakes which have all proved to be really popular. We get people travelling a long way to come and see us and the children really seem to love the F’Real Milkshakes. It’s a treat for them and that brings their parents into store and they naturally go onto purchase more, especially with the strong promotions we have to offer.”
One Stop franchisees are always looking at new ways to increase footfall and drive profit. One Stop has trialed a number of food and drink partners in company stores before rolling out to franchise stores, allowing them to collect the data and reduce risk for franchisees.
As Tim Josephs, Head of Business Development explains it’s also a two-way street: “The franchisees also offer their findings about some of the great innovations they’ve found, so they can provide learnings to us and we share with them. By working collaboratively, we keep ahead of the competition and source current and new trends that are creating high levels of demand.”
Rathee has found working with One Stop across all of his stores is a very smooth process and continues: “I’ve been more than happy with the One Stop proposition and service. When I opened my store at Chiltern Avenue I discussed with my business development manager what I wanted and they added it to the floor plan and worked with me. It was a very simple process.”
John Miller Head of Franchise has seen how successful adding new initiatives and benefits has been: “It’s key that in the market we don’t sit still but are constantly looking for ways to appeal to the customer and provide them with what they want. These latest innovations can really help drive margin into stores and attract new customers.
“Rathee has seen the huge benefits of an increase in store offerings, which drives footfall and profit but also serves the needs of the community. This is now more important than ever and being able to adapt is key.
“We provide everyday essentials but also treats – whether that’s a milkshake, a quick hot dog lunch or a steaming coffee to get the day started. One Stop operations enables franchisees to take advantage of everything that is available to them as well as suggest new ideas and opportunities. We want to help differentiate them from competitors and increase footfall, with bespoke touch points which keep them thriving in their own unique locations. Franchisees also have the ability to add local lines and suppliers to further delight their customers.”
With two One Stop stores in Bedford, three in Barnsley and one in Worksop, what’s in store for Rathee into the future? “I have been with One Stop since the start. For me I will be adding another two stores and will continue to work with One Stop to keep finding the perfect components to keep my customers shopping every day in my stores.”