The new National Petroleum and Convenience Retailer Council
March 18, 2022
ACAPMA has experienced significant growth in relation to its membership over the past decade. While this growth has improved both the financial strength and the ‘street credibility’ of the organisation as the national peak body for the ‘end-stream’ of the Australian fuel industry, it has also created a growing member demand for strategic assistance in the convenience retailing side of the national petrol-convenience market.
Analysis of this demand revealed that member businesses were seeking advocacy support and business assistance with the navigation of a series of macro-economic trends that are reshaping small-format retailing in Australia. These trends are multi-dimensional and include technological change (e.g. EVs and Hydrogen powered vehicles), digital disruption (e.g. Online retailing), consumer behaviours (e.g. the Share economy), retail innovations (e.g. electronic ‘baskets’) and supply chain architectures (e.g. Blockchain and ‘last mile’ logistics).
The challenges being faced by ACAPMA members are equally shared by convenience only retailers (i.e. small format retailers that don’t sell fuel) and the needs of this industry has been a source of discussion with Convenience World – the leading Convenience and Retail publication in Australia.
Late last year, both organisations entered a strategic partnership to create a strong national advocate for the petroleum and convenience retailers. Much of the activity to be advanced under this 5-year partnership will be led by the newly formed National Petroleum & Convenience Retailer Council (NPCRC).
The Council held its first meeting in Sydney this week (Tuesday 15 March 2022) and constitutes one of the major industry initiatives to be advanced under the auspices of a five-year strategic partnership that was struck between the two organisations in late 2021.
The genesis of this work can be trace back to ACAPMA’s Retail 2030 project, the results of which were unveiled at the ACAPMA National Conference held on the Gold Coast in September 2015. This project combined the skills of a global futurist (Michael McCallum of Global Foresight) and a petroleum architect (Wayne Lamb of Cadway Projects) to paint a picture of what a service station might look like in 2030 (See a short video summary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQZ2KhoHzV0)
“The Retail 2030 project sought to utilise market intelligence, industry research and government advocacy to help our members better understand the nature of the emerging opportunity (and consequent market threats) of the growing petrol-convenience market”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie
“Our focus in the 6 years since the completion of this project has been on the strategic and legislative issues relating to the operation of the C-Store ecosystem – as opposed to new product development (NPD) – and this work will form the foundations of the work to be advanced by the Council”, added Mark.
The primary purpose of the NPCRC is to guide the work of ACAPMA with respect to the following:
the priority issues for national advocacy for C-Store retailing in Australia
the design and delivery of support services to petrol & convenience retailers in Australia, including training and compliance services
major industry research priorities
the near-term challenges associated with the ongoing transition of the industry as it is reshaped by new format retail, technological disruption, the share economy, and the digital economy.
The work of the Council will also seek to utilise the findings of the consumer attitudinal research that has been conducted by ACAPMA over the past 6 years. This research seeks to track changes in consumer perspectives about the petrol-convenience industry (as opposed to historical assessments of buying behaviour) and has been conducted at two-yearly intervals. Past research was undertaken in 2015, 2017 and 2019 but was deferred in 2021 because half the country was locked down in COVID restrictions.
Nonetheless, the trends observed in the first 6 years are interesting and reflect a growing community realisation of the significance of the petrol-convenience market in the eyes of Australian consumers. Each of the reports can be accessed via the links provided below:
The strategic framework to be advanced by the Council utilises work previously completed by Oliver Wyman (A division of the Marsh McLennan Group and the driving force behind ACAPMA Insurance) for the North American Market. This framework is (see below) will be used by the Council to assess the key industry priorities for the Australian market.
“The members of the NCPRC have been carefully selected to ensure a representative voice of the key sub-segments of the petrol and convenience industry including petrol-convenience retailers, convenience retailers, product and equipment suppliers, and supply chain operatives”, said Mark.
“It is an honour to have such senior members of the C-store ecosystem sign on to the inaugural national Council and we look forward to supporting them as they work to advance the strategic interests of the industry in the future”, concluded Mark
The new Council is jointly chaired by ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie and Convenience World Managing Director Amy Harvey. Amy’s bio is provided below together with those of the other members of the new Council.
Amy Harvey (Managing Director, Retail Media Group) and Co-Chair NPCRC
Amy Harvey is the Managing Director of Retail Media, the publishers of Retail World, Retail World 360, Convenience World, Retail Pharmacy and Retail Pharmacy Assistants trade business magazines.
Ms Harvey has a Bachelor of Business degree and has managed the publishing company since 2011 and overseas the management of Retail Media’s magazines and assets.
Lorna Gloria (Editor-in- Chief, Retail Media)
Lorna Gloria is the Editor in Chief of Retail Media, the the publishers of Retail World, Retail World 360, Convenience World, Retail Pharmacy and Retail Pharmacy Assistants trade business magazines.
Ms Gloria has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and thirteen years of experience as a journalist, and 11 years as an Editor. She manages Retail World, Retail World 360 and Convenience World magazines and digital platforms.
Adam Adams (Franchisor, NightOwl Convenience)
Adam Adams is Franchisor of NightOwl Convenience, a private franchise network consisting of a combination of traditional convenience and convenience & petroleum sites.
Having begun his NightOwl journey in 2002 as a Franchisee, Adam and Katrina Adams acquired several stores in North Queensland before purchasing the franchise company in 2007.
Since then, NightOwl has seen significant growth across QLD, Northern NSW, and WA, particularly in the petroleum sector which has taken the network to 84 sites nationally, with the strategy of growing to 100+ sites.
Joseph Alessi (National Merchandise Manager, New Sunrise Group)
Joseph Alessi is the National Merchandise Manager at New Sunrise, bringing to the role over 20 years of retail experience. Mr Alessi joins New Sunrise have held various senior sales and category roles during his 15-year tenure at Mondelez/Cadbury Schweppes.
In his current role, Mr Alessi has seen New Sunrise voted as the best national independent retailer in Australia by trade partners. He is well known and respected for his passion for supporting independent businesses and solid relationships partnerships he has fostered in the petrol and convenience industry.
Brett Bolwell (CEO, Barista Technology)
Brett Bolwell is the CEO and founder of Barista Technology Australia who are Australia’s leading cafe technology supplier that was established to provide specialised equipment to solve the process of delivering constantly great barista coffee.
Brett’s company brands like Puqpress & Perfect Moose are now proven in over 50% of Australian cafes and most leading QSR’s have successfully implemented our proven model and equipment systems.
Barista Technology are the market innovator in Australia when it comes to reducing the training and skill needed to deliver the perfect coffee each and every time.
Cath Fifoot (Convenience & Food Service Director, Bega Dairy and Drinks)
Cath has been at Bega Dairy and Drinks* as a Director since June 2018, appointed Convenience & Foodservice Director December 2020.
Cath has spent 20 years in consumer goods working in commercial sales and category. She has worked across a diverse range of categories & channels over her 20-year career in FMCG.
She is passionate about building strong customer relationships together with utilising category insights to develop long term sustainable growth for both businesses.
* Previously Lion Dairy & Drinks Pre 26 January 2021
Lou Jardin was appointed Managing Director of SPAR Australia in December 2010. Lou was the Chief Executive Officer of IGA Distribution for Metcash from 2000 to 2010. He has nearly 40 years Industry experience including owning and operating independent supermarkets and holding senior positions within a chain store environment, as well as warehouse and distribution operations.
Lou held a senior position with Coles Myer for 11 years before joining Metcash in 1997 as the National Manager of Company owned stores. In 1998, Lou moved to Queensland as the State General Manager until May 2000. His relationship with SPAR started early on with his family owning SPAR Supermarkets in South Africa. Lou owned his first SPAR store at the age of 19.
Eddy Nader (Managing Director, Nader Petroleum Group
Eddy Nader, learnt the petrol convenience industry as a young boy on the forecourt of his father’s service station in Yagoona, NSW. More than 30 years later Eddy now sits at the helm of a 48 million Litre per year petrol convenience business that includes 6 retail locations and employs over 80 staff. Eddy has taken pains through this growth to carve a trusted and recognised brand identity for the sites, one that is based on an unwavering commitment to quality and a willingness to try new things, in what is a saturated and highly sophisticated coffee and convenience market; Urbanista Café & Convenience.
A passionate and engaged operator Eddy is as comfortable briefing his local member of parliament of the many pressures of running a small business, as he is negotiating customised promotions or branding agreements, or even serving customers. Eddy’s fierce commitment to quality of offer and willingness to explore opportunities is more than a passion, it is the businesses core driving force; understand, explore, engage, adapt & repeat.
George Tsapoutas (Chief Executive, The Distributors)
Appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2016. George started his career in FMCG with Arnott’s Snack Foods and has held various senior positions throughout his career including, General Manager Impulse with Ferrero, General Manager Wholesale & Vending at PepsiCo, and Sales Director at Snack Brands Australia.
Rob Watson (National Sales Manager, AMPOL)
Rob has almost 30 years of experience in the fuel and retail industry. Working for Ampol for the past 23 years, he has held roles in Retail, Fuels Pricing, Distribution and B2B Sales across Australia and Singapore.
He currently leads the National Distributor, Independent Retailer and Marine channel at Ampol.
Sharon White (Head of Sales and Marketing, Lowes Petroleum)
Sharon joined the fuel industry in 1997 and has over 20 years’ experience leading and delivering strategic and operational outcomes. Sharon has held leadership roles across Sales, Marketing, Retail, Card, Franchising, Operations and Corporate Services, at Regional, State, and local levels, within Australian and offshore organisations.
Sharon joined Lowes Petroleum in January 2019 and as a member of the Executive Management Team, she is accountable for strategy development, performance, growth and leadership of the Sales and Marketing teams.
Philip Gleeson (National Sales Manager, Peters)
Phillip has over 20 years’ experience working in Sales & Marketing with Blue-Chip Fast-Moving Consumer Goods manufacturers in both Australia and the UK including Mars Australia & UK, Carlsberg UK, Frucor, Pepsico & now, Peters Ice Cream.
Phillip has spent most of my career working in Impulse categories, where understanding shopper & consumer behaviour & triggering the Impulse occasion is absolutely key, particular in Ice Cream!
Married with 3 kids under the age of 8, Phillip spends most of his weekends these days scurrying around from one sporting venue to another.
David Sawyer (East Coast COCO Team Lead, Chevron)
David has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality, retail and fuel industries having held leadership roles in retail, training and development, sales support, franchising, and operations at local, state, and national levels.
Having joined Puma Energy in July 2015 initially overseeing the franchise operations of the business nationally, he now heads up the company owned and operated retail network for the East Coast for Chevron.
Jason Shackleton (National Business Manager, Asahi
Jason Shackleton is the National Business Manager for Petrol & Convenience at Asahi Lifestyle Beverages. Jason has 20+ years’ experience working in the Australian FMCG market and most recently, has been working in the Convenience channel for 4 years.
Jason’s experience in working with retailers across Retail, Grocery and Convenience, combined with his passion for driving mutual growth, he will be a valuable asset to the National Retail Council.