Retail employees, who prior to the health pandemic were assets to the business, have become invaluable as they continued to serve customers throughout lockdown while most people stayed home. To thank them for their service and heroism, FreshStop, the largest and fastest-growing convenience store retail brand in South Africa, launched a #ThankYoufromFreshStop digital campaign to recognise their staff and reflect their appreciation.
According to Joe Boyle, Director at FreshStop, their people have become their heroes. “Our teams have managed to get to work under extreme conditions, keep our stores well stocked and tidy, focus on health and hygiene standards and provide top-class customer service with a smile. The campaign reflects our thanks to all our staff – from the cashiers, kitchen staff, manager and cleaners to the shelf packers and truck drivers. We want our customers and communities to know that we support every one of them, and especially our staff, during this difficult time and that we are here to lend a hand,” says Boyle. FreshStop has also been able to maintain job security for its employees, and the business has supplied its employees with Fresh Produce food parcels that contain healthy food items and essentials.
The convenience store industry has become one of the many retail sectors to step up and provide an essential service during lockdown. Their product offering has been widened and many brands now offer delivery services via Mr D Food and Uber Eats in certain areas. But the basics of providing a clean, healthy and welcoming retail environment is still top of mind.
Adherence to Strict Hygiene Measures in-Store
There has never been a more important time to employ stringent health measures and the c-store industry has stepped up to ensure the safety of its customers and staff. “As a leading convenience store retail brand, stringent hygiene standards were our first concern. All staff have been trained and information posters positioned in-store. Our Store Retailers control the number of people allowed into a store at any one time, and we have hand sanitiser available at the entrance, at food counters, at cashier stations and in the office areas. Perspex sneeze guards have been installed at food counters and at till points and all our frontline staff wear masks or visors. We have floor markers to ensure social distancing. Not only do our management support teams carry out virtual health checks with stores on a regular basis but we are also audited by an external independent company to ensure that we retain these high standards and increased food hygiene,” adds Boyle.
To meet customer demand, FreshStop has been selling hand sanitisers and reusable face masks in stores, which are manufactured in line with government specifications.
Roxy Norman, Head of Digital Marketing for FreshStop, says, “While we understood the struggles that our frontline staff experienced each day, we wanted to share their experiences with our customers and encourage them to reach out and engage with our staff across the country. So as part of our #ThankyoufromFreshStop campaign, we launched a Short Poem Competition that encourages our customers to write a poem about their favourite FreshStop to spread the joy. It has been amazing for our staff to be recognised by our customers and for it to be shared – with every entry being unique and celebrated”.
FreshStop, named International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2013 and finalist of the 2017 & 2018 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award, is South Africa’s fastest growing 24-hour convenience store brand, having opened 323 stores countrywide.