Caltex – A fresh approach to retail convenience

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

You may not be aware that Caltex Australia operates one of the largest convenience retail networks across the nation with company and franchised stores operating predominantly under the Caltex Star Mart Brand.

In fact, Caltex’s world class business model, supported by its retail program, merchandising plans and field support has made Caltex the number one convenience retailer in Australia, with a significant proportion of our profitability coming increasingly from non-fuel convenience products and services. Caltex is not content with just being number one in Australia. We have a core vision of being a world class convenience retailer.

“Success in convenience retailing is all about having the right people in your business. People with a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience and a commitment to ‘Getting it Right’ everywhere, everyday, every time,” says Leo Pucar, national manager retail.

In fact, Caltex was recognised by the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) who presented us with their prestigious Retailer of the Year 2009 Award in the Major Retail Franchised Operation category in addition to being a finalist in the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Franchisor of the Year Awards 2008.

Leo says that “attracting the right franchisees is critical to the ongoing success of any franchise network and this is no different at Caltex Australia. As we continue our journey from service stations to convenience stores, we are seeking a different type of franchisee; a high calibre retailer seeking a sustainable investment.”

The Caltex convenience retail network consists of about 600 stores with approximately 85 per cent being operated by franchisees. The balance of stores are company operated which Caltex uses to showcase its business model and to trial, test and develop new products and services prior to rolling out across the national network.

A new world of retail convenience

A key part of the company’s capital investment strategy is the new, 21st-Century Caltex (21CC) Star Mart convenience store. Following a number of successful trials, this new world class convenience store format is being rolled out progressively across Australia presenting a multi-million-dollar investment for Caltex.

At the heart of the 21CC concept is a bright, clean and attractive convenience store with a fresh look, layout and product range.

“Our stores are evolving to meet customersÕ changing needs,” says Pucar. “Research has shown that in an era when people are time-poor with long work hours and both partners working, they value convenience more than ever and it is important to ensure that we offer a good mix of traditional convenience items as well as supporting the growing need for fresh and healthier alternatives.”

Having more products visible is therefore one aim of the 21CC layout — showing off products for sale and making stores easier for customers to navigate, with more space at the service counter.

The trend here and overseas is for convenience stores to become more of a destination for fresh food and ready-to-go meals. So this is reflected in the 21CC Healthier Options offer with an expanded range of chilled items, pre-packaged meals, yoghurts, fruit juices, dried fruit, nuts and salads, complemented by an in-store bakery and fresh coffee offer.

At the same time the 21CC stores will have a localised offer, with the quantity and mix of products widened or reduced to match local customer demographics.