Team communication at its best
Why convenience store owners are working all hours
01 November 2021
So reducing hours can be an important way of avoiding burnout – even if it means losing sales as a result. One Stop’s Sedani went down this route during the pandemic. “If you haven’t been able to take time off because you lack the infrastructure, then understandably that means you can’t shut for a whole week,” he says. “But what you can do is close an hour early for a week, or even two hours.
“I closed half a day early [every day] for six months during the pandemic to protect me and my team. It’s our minds that are the strength behind what we do.”
Still, all this is more of a sticking plaster than a long-term solution. The ACS’s Lowman believes labour-saving technology could offer a more sustainable answer.
It seems to have worked for five-site Londis retailer Steve Bassett, who operates across the south west. He turned to headsets and electronic shelf labels (ESLs) to free up time during the pandemic, which together cost £28,000. That investment has so far paid off.
Headset provider Quail Digital, which worked with Bassett on this aspect of project, believes they are particularly beneficial in the convenience setting. “Convenience stores rely on a small team of employees working together,” says CEO Tom Downes. “From stock room to front-end checkouts, forecourts to vending machines, the team multi-task everywhere, all day.”
“Many operators have found giving the team wireless headsets saves them time, reduces delay, improves customer service and empowers the team to work as one,” he adds.
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