Testing New Developments
Dublin Airport will be the test bed for developments, which may extend across the Topaz estate of
334 sites, 121 of which are company-operated.
As the transportation infrastructure has devel-
oped in Ireland, the retailer is looking to help create
an accompanying service station infrastructure and
last year announced details of two new motorway
sites on major highways, the M8 and M9. William-
son reports expansion will be a “controlled roll out.”
“There are a number of other opportunities in the
pipeline — new build and developments and a mix of
motorway and urban locations,” he says.
Topaz has also identified sites in its existing estate
in which it plans to invest. But the focus is firmly
on Ireland — its recent refinancing means it is well
placed to capitalize on future growth opportunities —
although Williamson reveals “the brand can and will
travel but it’s not on the agenda at the moment.”
Research and feedback on the latest developments
is now being captured via the company’s loyalty program, launched in February 2013.
Customers register to join the program and collect
points for each liter of fuel they buy or what they spend
in the store. Once they have collected 200 points they
can choose to either “park” them or play to win an
“experience of a lifetime.” Prizes have included Toyota
cars, fuel for life, a yoga holiday in Thailand and a
shopping trip to New York.
“Irish people absolutely love it,” Williamson smiles.
“And if they play and don’t win, they automatically get
a cup of coffee or a car wash — a treat — so they are still
getting something out of it.”
Williamson reports customers are providing feed-
back on the program on the company’s Facebook page
or directly to customer service personnel. It helps us
understand “what people think of Topaz,” he says.
Best Place to Work
Coffee, food-to-go and convenience products, Wil-
liamson reports, are areas of growth for the retailer,
and customer service is a constant area of focus.
Williamson says Topaz sets great store by its training
and spends time talking to shoppers to find out what’s
important as a customer. As a result, staff turnover is
relatively low and Topaz is the only Irish-owned retailer
in the Top 10 Great Places To Work in Ireland.
The future promises more of the same, says Wil-
liamson. “Over the next three years we will continue
with the expansion of our network and offer and
attain significant growth in all our product lines and
drive the loyalty game to the next level,” he says.
Alongside forecourt retailing, Williamson re-
ports Topaz will be developing
the largest side of its business
— importing and re-selling
fuels. “We have big plans over
the next three to five years to
ensure good growth in those
two areas,” he says.
It looks like “new Topaz”
will continue to evolve.
This article was reprinted from
the March 2014 issue of Global
Convenience Store Focus,
published by Insight Research,
the NACS partner in Europe.
Topaz sells 5 million cups of its
branded coffee every year.
The site at Dublin Airport gives Topaz the chance to appeal to a wide range of consumers.