Located on the N3, Ballycoolin is Maxol’s third major offline motorway facility. Occupying a 2.5 acre site, it has been developed to offer an extensive range of forecourt convenience services and freshly prepared meal solutions to the large local business and residential communities.
The site features Maxol’s largest range of leading food franchises with O’Briens, The Bagel Factory, Abrakebabra, Freshly Chopped, and Insomnia; for eating in-store, on the go or for take home consumption and providing a wide range of freshly prepared food across all dayparts. The offer at Ballycoolin is provided and operated by the leading foodservice operator, Aramark. It has combined the best of Irish and international food concepts at the site, drawing inspiration from high streets in North America, the UK and Ireland.
Maxol, meanwhile, is one of the most recognised fuel brands in Ireland, with a network of 231 branded service stations, 115 of which are company owned. Over €120m was invested in the store network since 2012 and this has seen the company acquire and open 20 new service stations, refurbish 60 stores and reshape its organisational structure to support its ambitious growth plans.
The Maxol Group was established by William McMullan and will celebrate 100 years of being part of Irish communities in 2020. The fourth generation of the family are now company directors and the company is proud to be the largest Irish family owned fuel and food to go retailer.
The company makes a significant contribution to the economy on both sides of the border and markets a comprehensive range of oil and petroleum products to the Irish Market through their Retail, Fuel Card and Lubricants divisions.
The Maxol Group had an annual turnover of €660m in 2017 and employs more than 1,000 people across the island of Ireland.
Maxol has recently embarked on a new Strategic Plan 2018-2021, which will see a further €100m invested in the store network. The firm’s strategic vision is to be the brand of choice for customers everyday and the new plan addresses how it will win in the five core markets of retail fuel, grocery convenience, food to go, lubricants and the fuel card business. The next phase of investment at Ballycoolin, for instance, will see more parking, upstairs seating and meeting facilities to meet the growing needs of the surrounding residential and business communities.
Ballycoolin is a large, two storey building with open plan seating internally and externally for 95 people, catering for families and workers, with complimentary customer Wi-Fi throughout. Everyday grocery essentials and quality ingredients for home cooking are catered for in the convenience store, along with a full off licence and ATM.
The site features Maxol’s first Insomnia Coffee Drive Thru - an innovative approach to giving time poor customers a fast and efficient service and quality coffee in the comfort of their vehicles.
The extensive forecourt facility also provides a premium carwash with multiple payment options, including pay at pump; plus a services area, and parking for 50 vehicles. From an environmental perspective, the site features energy saving heating, lighting and water systems, incorporating heat recover, solar energy and grey water harvesting to ensure it has a low carbon footprint.
On the technology front, Ballycoolin is pushing the envelope and delivering uber convenience. Easytrip technology lets customers enter the carwash, press the Easytrip button and payment is made using their Easytrip tag situated in their vehicle. The payment is cashless and is the ultimate in convenience for car washing.
The site offers a Click & Collect @ Freshly Chopped service so customers can beat the queue at busy times and get their Freshly Chopped salad quickly and easily. The app is powered by online food ordering specialist Flipdish. Maxol has also piloted a customer tracking system with IBM Watson to help it better understand customer flow - where shoppers dwell in-store across the different days and dayparts. This has helped Maxol ensure that it has the right range on offer at the right time to its target audience in-store.
The Ballycoolin site is operated by site manager, Agnis Punculis, with dedicated supervisory and front line teams for each branded offer. All supervisors in both the shop and food court are promoted from within and are constantly training and developing the staff. All food court staff are cross trained in all franchise brands, adding value to their overall training and development.
Maxol is recognised as being a leader in customer service training and it is ongoing daily, in conjunction with the Aramark (WEST) training. Maxol Ballycoolin won Best New Forecourt at the Shelflife National C-Store Awards 2017 - testament to the quality of training and customer service at the site.
Customer feedback is also measured via the TruRating platform at the point of payment. It enables Maxol to monitor customer perceptions in real time by time or day of the week, as it’s directly tied to transaction data. To date, one in 15 customers is giving feedback with 13,978 pieces of feedback collated so far. The Ballycoolin store was a high achiever in the Maxol Excellence Customer Experience Awards and wins positive scores from a mystery shopper programme.
The store is hitting the spot in terms of numbers too with the average number of transactions per week at 7,245 in the shop and forecourt, 830 at O’Brien’s, 221 at the Bagel Factory, 806 for Abrakebabra and 513 at Freshly Chopped. The average spend is impressive too. Shoppers spend on average €15.11 in the shop and forecourt per transaction, €5.76 in O’Brien’s, €5.18 at the Bagel Factory, €8.57 at Abrakebabra and €8.42 at Freshly Chopped.
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