Hudsons Coffee sees new opportunities as consumer trends shift

By Sarah Stowe | 24 Aug 2020 View comments

Hudsons Coffee has seen back-to-back weeks of record sales in Townsville, and Tasmania. GM Jarrod Montigue told Inside Franchise Business Executive “Business outside Victoria is starting to recover. South Australia and Western Australia are doing OK.” 

In Victoria there are 23 stores, most situated in hospitals and still trading under heavy restrictions.

“The big thing that is working well for us is the click and collect app now has a delivery function which we switched on for hospital staff.  When we launched the app last year it wasn’t ever tested for delivery. Through necessity we ramped it up pretty quickly,” said Montigue.

The swift action proved worthwhile, with delivery now accounting for about half of the revenue in some hospital cafes.

“The work our franchisees are doing in hospitals is amazing.”

However in the network of 80+ stores it is the CBD and corporate airport stores that have been hit hard by the travel ban and the shift to working from home.

And because Hudsons is a foreign-owned entity, it hasn’t qualified for JobKeeper support. Parent company Emirates Leisure halved its support staff in March, with only the franchise operations fully functional, said Montigue.

Hudsons Coffee sees new opportunities

The loss of business in city locations follows a consumer shift to the suburbs. And that is now driving a fresh perspective at Hudsons.

“More and more people are shopping local and this is opening up opportunities for sites I wouldn’t have looked at before,” admits Montigue. “Consumer trends are shifting, local suburb strips are thriving. I’ve had a number of landlords ring me, presenting numerous sites. We’ve got to be smarter and more convenient for people.

“Last year we had a complete brand refresh so what we’ve been able to do over the last six months behind the scenes  is develop new tech, new training modules, update recruitment tools, a new website, enhance our digital capabilities to touch more consumers – we’re investing in ecommerce.”

Montigue is looking ahead to the festive season with a digital focus. He predicts catering options will boost the coffee bean purchases popular with the loyal customer base.

“It’s going to be an online Christmas,” he said.