Interview with Ben Flintoff, National Operations Manager, Palm Oasis Ventures for Baskin-Robbins Australia
How would you define the current momentum of the retail sector in Asia?
To ensure profitability is maintained, retailers are now embracing the challenge of streamlining and systemising, to ensure best practice standards.
Where are the growth areas for the retail sector in Asia?
Food. As our population and knowledge grows, coupled with our demand for convenience, this sector will continue to expand. Luxury items (edible and non-edible) will continue to expand, however, the challenge in this space will be for true luxury or desirability to be displayed. The Ferrari’s and Chanel’s of the world will continue to set the bar of aspiration.
What are the challenges and issues?
Hypercompetition in commodity items is a real risk. Being able to purchase items from around the world is not new, but the speed with which these items are being delivered is. This means the brand and what it means to the consumer remains critical for maintaining front of mind position for our markets. Luxury and higher end brands have their own hypercompetition around experience, where companies continue to raise the bar in the in-store relationship they are developing with consumers.
Ben’s career started in small business lending with a major Australian bank, then proceeded to achieving Certified Financial Planner status in the advice industry. A period with a private bank in London laid the analytical foundation before true passion in food and guest satisfaction was discovered. A holiday resort company in Canada, a restaurant and winery in Queensland and a café and catering business in Brisbane CBD were all part of the journey leading to Ben’s current role as National Operations Manager for Baskin-Robbins Australia where he works on creating unforgettable memories for ice cream lovers Australia wide.