A 24-hour convenience store that almost isn't...


Written on 9/15/2008 12:40:00 pm by sikapitan

Once they were deemed forever doomed with the emergence of all the Hypermarkets. Now they’re ubiquitous with presence in almost all major townships. In fact, here at USJ, we have 1 for every housing area.

So imagine how pissed I was when I went to one last Sunday morning after futsal and found that the outlet was closed. No, it wasn’t “officially” closed. Just that the store assistants decided to “temporarily” close it (from 2 a.m – 6 a.m…).

The sign was written on a piece of A4, looks cheap and we could all see the two store assistants inside doing I don’t know what with a bunch of products on the floor at the back of the store.

I thought, okay, maybe there’s something wrong with the machine and all. But imagine my surprise that as soon me and my friend turned our back, a few more cars stopped in front of the store. I remarked, “Looks like we’re bringing in the business…”.

Imagine my bigger surprise when I saw the store assistant sheepishly calling us back after noticing that there’s going to be a sort of mini riot (hell, there’s more than 5 people out there at 3 a.m pissed about a closed 7-11).

Was there something wrong with the teller machine? Nope. Anything wrong with the air-conditioning? Nope. Were they out of stock of everything? Nope. So the only reason the two clowns almost turn away potential customers was…nothing. There was no reason other than sheer laziness.

I’m pretty sure the management would be pretty pissed if they found out about this.

The whole concept of 7-11 is that it is a 24 HOURS convenience store. Get that into the thick skull of these lowly motivated store assistants.

Here’s a business idea: Introduce an incentive scheme that is directly related to sales. For every RM 50 of sales, the person who serviced the customer would get RM 1. If you think that a normal Hotlink top-up would cost RM 30, then you’ll see that these guys could be earning a lot, IF they have the right incentive in place to promote sales.

Imagine the store assistant initiating cross-selling and up-selling. Imagine buying a bottle of Coke and the guy saying, “Hey, would you like to try cracker X, because it taste great with Coke…”. Or something like that.

In the future, advertising is no longer sufficient. You need people marketing.

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