“Gone are the days,” says John Miller, head of One Stop Franchise, “when you could charge premium prices in convenience stores just for being convenient.”
The convenience store chain, which was awarded Franchise Group of the Year 2018 earlier this year at the Retail Industry Awards, is seeing unprecedented growth – which Miller partly puts down to One Stop’s ability to successfully navigate the changing convenience store landscape.
“Customers are wanting more from their local convenience store,” he says. “The days are gone when customers used to go down to a big supermarket to do all their shopping in one go, they’ll go to different places – and when they come into convenience stores, they expect to see some really strong, market-leading promotions.”
One Stop have responded to that changing landscape not just by negotiating some market-leading promotions, but by ensuring that it’s as easy as possible for their franchise network to make the most of them.
For a start, all of One Stop’s franchise stores have the same till system and ordering system. That’s different to a symbol group, in which there are many different EPOS systems. Having that same EPOS system gives One Stop a firmer systems footing, so it’s easier to run strong promotions and multibuy meal deals.
Giving franchisees the advantage of a common systems set-up is mirrored by One Stop’s approach to in-store point of sale. Not only do the franchises all have purpose-built stands for all their promotions, they have specific layouts in stores laid out for promotions. In addition, all the point of sale that goes with it automatically fits into the store’s shelves, so it’s really easy for franchisees to swap over promotions.
Even with those carefully designed point of sale materials, One Stop go the extra mile to ensure their franchisees understand each promotion, giving them full briefing documents for every promotion, containing everything they need to know about how to mount the promotion, when to put it on and when to take it off.
It’s all part of an approach that franchisees like Dan Amin, from One Stop Acorn Street Coventry, see working every day. “My customers are head over heels with all the promotions that we do. It does drive the business, definitely.”
More importantly, Amin explains that the promotions work to root One Stop franchises to their local community.
“Local people like to support their local stores. They see them as their own. And the promotions help to do that, because not only are you helping the local community stay afloat, it’s about giving them that friendly atmosphere within the community, saying we’re part of them, we’re thinking about them, we’re thinking about their pockets.”
In an increasingly challenging marketplace, it’s an approach to promotions that seems to be bearing fruit for One Stop and its franchisees.