are possible and many are probable.”
The new My Local branding,
meanwhile, is geared toward creating
“ownership” of the stores by their
local shoppers. “It’s about ownership
and community,” Greene states. “But
if you are going to say that, you have to
live up to it,” Greene adds. Morrisons,
for example, was wasting lots of product each year,
whereas My Local will donate food past its sell-by
date to charity. Every store has also adopted a
charity within a one-mile radius because 80% of
shoppers live within that distance from the store
and 60% come from within a quarter of a mile.
“My Local is about much more than a name,” he
insists. “For us, it’s to be part of that community in
every single sense, whether it’s local product, local
charity and local people.”
Greene believes regional and localized retailers are
doing a better job in today’s competitive marketplace.
Generally, they tend to individualize stores to their
communities. He cites retailers such as Sewells and
Simply Fresh as retailers that do well at this.
In courtyards, Greene rates Euro Garages and
Applegreen as retailers that have recognized that
Morrisons bought fantastic stores and
fitted them out to a great level and did
great training, but just because they
are a supermarket, it doesn’t mean they
can run c-stores.”
customers are not desperate to take up the first
product on offer. “They are really taking retail to the
next level,” he says.
Internationally, Greene picks 7-Eleven for being
“awesome at making small units work,” and from the
United States: Wawa, Sheetz and Quik Trip—
operators where the family is still involved and it’s very
much a personal journey for them.
Discounters, which have achieved a record 10%
market share in the U.K., are not perceived as a threat
but rather complementary businesses, which
encourage further top-up shopping at c-stores due to
their cumbersome parking lots and complicated
Similarly, online doesn’t challenge convenience
for those consumers who are seeking an urgent pack
of diapers, a glass of wine for now or an impulse treat,
Greene says. But evolution and sharing best practices
must be cornerstones for future c-store success,
he states. He recalls a valuable lesson he learned from
John Irish about keeping up with the times. Irish
likened convenience to dancing with elephants:
You’ve got to be either quick or dead. Greene appreciates this need to move and evolve.
Greene’s own decision to apportion his time
across business, charities and personal life has
been a key factor in his own success, he claims.
“When business and charity come together, that
creates community. It’s a sweet spot where you can
make a difference and people are the common
denominator. Great businesses have great people
policies,” he says.
And that’s exactly what he’s looking to achieve
within My Local: fostering homegro wn talent. “ You
can start with nothing, just a bit of desire, ambition
and hard work, and in retail you can build a serious
career that can give you great benefits and returns,”
Fiona Briggs is a retail business journalist. She can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get to know even more about retail superhero Mike Greene
by visiting retailvision.tv. Insight Managing Director
Dan Munford talks to Greene about his early experiences
in retail, whom he admires and where he got his famous
motivation and drive.