I’ve just been to a meeting with Londis about organising deliveries when the Olympic Route Network kicks in.
We will be allowed to get deliveries only between midnight and 6am, so we need to sort out a schedule and decide the number of deliveries we’ll need.
We’re thinking of having a one-and-a-half hour delivery window, but we hope to finalise the plans by the end of March. We’d have to get our staff to come in at night, which would mean I’d have to pick them up or pay for them to take a taxi. We don’t know whether the Docklands Light Railway will be running at night, yet. At the Londis meeting I was shown slides of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta when it took nine hours to get across the city by train, so we’ll be prepared for all scenarios. We might actually keep the store open all night with two members of staff permanently on duty so we’ve got a safety net if people can’t make it in. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and no one knows what’ll happen.
We’ll obviously have to pay staff more for working at night, and we’re planning to pay them bonuses anyway, but we might see a 40% uplift in sales so it’ll level out. I might have to recruit three or four more staff for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games - the Paralympics have sold nearly two million tickets.
The next stage is expanding our food-to-go offering, which will be up and running by the end of May. Unfortunately, a Tesco Express is opening next door, but at least it means they see potential here! Hopefully, we can compete on customer service and smaller queues, as well as food to go. We might install an express coffee machine, too.
The new Thames cable car should be open in June, which is located right next to us, so we’ll be ready for the extra footfall which that should bring.