In an effort to support the local independent retailers that are the lifeblood of Mirvac Retail Centres, the team have launched an innovative online marketplace and contactless drive-thru pick-up service dubbed ‘Essentials Express’. The new service has started operating at Mirvac’s Moonee Ponds Central (MPC) in Melbourne where shoppers can order from a range of Moonee Ponds Central’s quality local retailers, offering dozens of fresh food items and curated packages of products and collect their goods. In addition, customers can pay online and receive contactless pick-up in a dedicated drive-thru location at the centre from Tuesday to Thursday.
Essentials Express brings together a bespoke technology solution with retailers and their sought-after product. Concept to delivery was accelerated to just one week through the agile collaboration of teams from across the business, in order to give MPC shoppers a customised, safe and curated local shopping experience at a time of enforced social distancing.
Kelly Miller, General Manager, Retail at Mirvac said, “Key to this has been a willingness of our retail partners involved to be agile and rapid in the rollout of the Essentials Express. Our retailers have been very enthusiastic, and we are thrilled to deliver a curated and collaborative, online solution so they can to continue to serve their customers.”
“Importantly for Mirvac Retail, it is our opportunity to support smaller and locally loved retailers who may not have the scale and resources traditionally to adapt their operating models and implement these type of technology solutions,” Miller said.
The original initiative to provide shoppers with curated essential groceries came from a partnership with popular long-time local green-grocer John De Maria. Armed with a desire and concern to keep his employees in work and to maintain his decades long relationships with local Moonee Ponds customers, John and Moonee Ponds Central management started to offer the contactless pick-up service for boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Essentials Express further extends the partnership, bringing together John’s long-established offer of quality and great value fresh produce with Moonee Ponds Central’s facilities (car park drive-thru), people power, logistics, digital channel promotion and reach.
Similarly, Cherrybrook Village in Sydney quickly adapted a contactless pick-up service with popular local retailer Martelli’s Market offering a curated range of essential items packaged for next day drive-thru pick-up for their customers.
The online marketplace will activate within the next fortnight across centres in New South Wales (Rhodes Waterside and East Village) and within the month in Brisbane (Toombul and Orion Springfield Central).
Teresa Giuffrida, General Manager, Innovation at Mirvac said that in collaboration with Mirvac’s award-winning innovation program called Hatch, the team applied the Hatch customer-centric methodology to support the agile, lean and speedy delivery of concept to market.
“The mission of Hatch is to deliver innovations that solve customer pain points. Essentials Express at Mirvac Retail centres is a perfect example of how Hatch innovation methodology has been applied at a time of extraordinary community restrictions to social gatherings due to COVID-19, to support the development of new approaches to solve customer problems,” Giuffrida said.
“Supporting our partners and great local retailers to get through this disruptive period has been a key focus for Mirvac Retail. We are impressed with the early results from Essentials Express, our online marketplace and will be adding even more capability to this platform as well as rolling it out quickly across our other centres in New South Wales and Queensland as we continue to test and survey its implementation with our Retail Partners,” concluded Miller.