Maxol at the heart of it in Dundalk
The Maxol team speaks to IF&CR about the company’s latest forecourt opposite Dundalk’s Institute of Technology
Most readers of this magazine would hardly need a lesson on the importance of location, but Maxol seem to have turned the skill into an art form.
The latest addition is example of location insight at its best.
Speaking to Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer, the Group’s Brand Development Manager Fergal Harrington explained why the positioning of its new forecourt on the Dublin Road is so advantageous.
“The Dublin Road in Dundalk is a busy location providing the access in and out for Dundalk’s considerable community. Our site is located directly opposite the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) and adjacent to Dundalk’s Business & Technology Parks and neighbouring retail park.”
Some 4,000 DkIT students and staff are well served by a fully-stocked Maxol Mace convenience store, inside of which is Maxol’s award-winning Moreish food offer. That’s before you count the number of employees in the packed retail park.
“We see Moreish as the destination for delicious fresh food and it is leading the way for a more Healthy & Fresh Food convenience offering,” said Fergal. “Customers are aware of the importance of taking a healthier approach to what we eat and Moreish is satisfying their needs.”
The strategic thinking behind the site’s positioning is part of why Maxol has been able to grow at such a strong rate.
Maxol’s Head of Retail Development outlined: “This is Maxol’s fourth retail convenience destination in Dundalk and brings to eight the total number of Maxol locations in Co Louth to eight.
“The Maxol Group’s expansion plans are going from strength to strength with a pipeline of new developments including Dublin Road, Dundalk which opened on 13th October. At the time, it was Maxol’s fifth new site opening in just six months, and 22nd in just two years, as part of the Company’s extensive investment and expansion plans.
“This latest addition represents an investment of around €2 million by Maxol and has created more than 25 new jobs for the area.”
Meanwhile, under the guidance of licensee Colin Fee, the forecourt is equipped with superb modern facilities and Maxol’s latest striking design.
“The opening of the new convenience destination at Dublin Road reflects, amongst other influences, the growing demand from local students for a full comprehensive service offering,” Colin said. “It features Maxol’s award-winning newly created forecourt design, and showcases the premium Maxol Mace store offering which includes a Moreish café and its vibrant graffiti style interior branding.”
Moreish – Fresh Food At Maxol, winner of the 2015 Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience award for Best Oil Company Initiative, provides the perfect breakfast, lunch and dinner solutions for many hard-working workers and DkIT students. The Moreish offer includes an extensive hot and cold deli menu, an exclusive range of specialty sandwiches, low calorie salads and healthy treats and freshly ground premium bean coffee and specialty teas.
The store includes a contemporary seating area, impressive hot and cold deli and barista offering, high-spec washrooms as well as complimentary WiFi within the Maxol Mace convenience store.
A drive-through car wash and pay at pump facilities providing diesel 24 hours are also available.
The inside of the store is bright, spacious, and inviting, with its stylish graphics making it very attractive to its adjacent young customer base. The building concept is bathed in natural light, and its appeal clearly shows Maxol’s dedication to investment in its network.
But that’s not all the station offers. Ease of access adds to the appeal of the site, with 17 car parking spaces, three pump islands and pay-at-the-pump facility – queuing is minimal.
According to Colin, the reaction so far has been electric.
“We’re delighted with how well the new service station has been received by customers,” he said. “The opening of this new convenience destination not only meets the needs of motorists on the go, but for the community of Dundalk, as well as the growing demand from local students for a full comprehensive service offering.”
While every effort has gone into making this the site of choice in the area, Dundalk and the Belfast to Dublin corridor is a competitive route for forecourts. We asked Fergal what particular aspects of the site gave it an edge.
“Exceptional service is what brings customers back and this is what we provide in Dublin Road, Dundalk,” he said. “Exceptional service is the true source of success and Colin Fee, manager Paddy O’Hanlon, and the team of 25 take great pride in the service they provide to customers, whether they are making a quick stop, shopping at Maxol Mace or relaxing in our Moreish cafe.”
According to Colin Fee, meanwhile, building his team was easier than he imagined.
“We took out one ad in the local paper and got 500 applications for the 25 jobs. I’ve never ever seen a response like it. The quality of the candidates was fantastic and we have a great motivated and committed team on board.”
The innovations at the site are just part of Maxol’s fresh approach, which extends to Maxol’s Customer feedback programme, which last month awarded €100 of fuel vouchers to customer Rebecca Keeling. It’s an initiative that Fergal believes is helping the company evolve strategically.
“We want Maxol to be recognised on an all-Ireland basis as the forecourt and convenience brand of choice, and to achieve this we must go above and beyond in terms of customer service,” Fergal said.
“Maxol’s feedback programme continues to evolve in line with continued investment in an area of strategic value. The programme allows us to take on board the views of our customers, to monitor our service levels in all our stores and to reward the staff team that are working so hard.
“The feedback programme helps to build an emotional bond with our customers, the local forecourt staff, and the Maxol brand and frequently provides insight that helps us our brand to be embedded in the heart of the community.”
With their latest site, it would be difficult to imagine Maxol hasn’t already won over Dundalk’s affections.