Case Study: Growing a Retail Network: Sourcing and Leasing Premises

Waitomo Energy: Growing their South Island Retail Network

Case Study No: 17

Retail Network - Waitomo

Fueling Retail Network Expansion: How proactive site selection and lease negotiation transformed Waitomo Energy's South Island Retail Network

If you’ve ever been on a classic road trip through New Zealand’s North Island – then you’ve most likely seen a Waitomo petrol station. 

Waitomo have been operating multiple self-service petrol station sites in the North Island since 1947. Waitomo decided they wanted to expand into the South Island. This would make their fuel available from Paihia to Dunedin.

In a strategic move to broaden its reach across the South Island, Waitomo Energy embarked on an ambitious expansion plan. To realize this vision, the company enlisted the expertise of Marcus and the Proactive Property Group, based upon his site selection expertise expanding retail networks in New Zealand and Australia.

With Marcus at the helm, the mission was clear: identify suitable locations, secure prime premises, and negotiate leases or acquisitions that would not only support Waitomo Energy’s growth but also set the stage for another 70 years of success.

Mapping the Path Forward

Marcus initiated the journey by meticulously outlining the site selection process. Collaborating closely with Waitomo Energy, he pinpointed the desired locations within the South Island while deciphering the precise premises prerequisites.

Unearthing Hidden Gems

Drawing upon a rich network of contacts and real estate professionals, Marcus embarked on the task of uncovering potential properties across the designated locations.

These off-market properties were unearthed through a combination of immersive site visits and in-depth engagements with various stakeholders, including real estate agents, property managers, landlords, solicitors, and accountants.

Consistent engagement with this network of contacts resulted in potential premises being identified.

Navigating the Unlisted Terrain

A significant majority of the identified premises existed outside the traditional listings for lease or sale, residing in the realm of the “off-market.” These hidden gems presented both a challenge and an opportunity, requiring a unique approach to evaluation and selection.

Site Qualification

The next phase involved a meticulous qualification process. Each identified property was meticulously assessed against the predefined premises brief, ensuring alignment with Waitomo Energy’s vision. The shortlisted options were then presented to Waitomo Energy for thorough review and consideration.

Lease Negotiation

With potential properties qualified, Marcus transitioned to the lease negotiation phase. Armed with a wealth of experience, he engaged with landlords and vendors, meticulously crafting the commercial terms for leasing or acquiring the chosen premises. These negotiations encompassed intricate discussions of key commercial aspects, which were then formalised in comprehensive lease or purchase agreements.

The Client Outcome

The collaboration between Proactive Property Group and Waitomo Energy bore fruit through a series of remarkable site selection success stories. Some of the transactions that Marcus negotiated involved sourcing sites in tightly held areas on more competitive commercial terms than competitors including:

Site 1: Maximising Potential

Site 1 was the acquisition of an off-market site boasting double the size of its competition. This advantageous positioning not only promised higher revenue potential but also offered a substantial 25% reduction in initial rent compared to its competitors. Over the lease term, this translated into an impressive $376,000 in occupancy savings.

Site 2: Pioneering Connectivity

Site 2 was in the form of a site strategically positioned to capitalize on a newly established motorway connection. Marcus’s adept negotiation skills extended beyond leasing terms, involving a thoughtful reconfiguration of existing tenancies and structures to create an optimal forecourt opportunity.

Site 3: Crafting Innovation

In a tightly held rural locale, Marcus artfully engineered a creative site solution that defied conventions, securing a site with below-market rental rates. This achievement marked not only a financial win but a testament to the power of inventive site selection.

Charting the Road Ahead

Thanks to the proactive site selection undertaken by the Proactive Property Group, Waitomo Energy has solidified its presence in the South Island. This retail network expansion has enabled the company to provide energy for countless Kiwi road trips, a testament to the careful curation and selection of premises that align with their values and goals.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Proactive Property Group and Waitomo Energy exemplifies how a strategic approach to site selection can redefine the trajectory of retail network expansion. By delving into uncharted territories, harnessing a network of untapped resources, and negotiating with finesse, Marcus has propelled Waitomo Energy into an exciting new phase of growth, with the South Island as the canvas for their enduring success.

Client Testimonial

“Marcus has been invaluable in helping Waitomo locate, source and qualify sites and negotiate commercial terms for our leases and acquisitions.
I was impressed by Marcus’ ability to source qualified sites that were off market that met our particular requirements, to negotiate favourable lease terms for us, to work with our lawyers to document the agreed commercial terms into our Agreements to Lease, and liaise with our prospective landlords to execute the Agreements and enable our due diligence requirements to be met.
Marcus’ persistence and tenacity in sourcing qualified sites for Waitomo has paid off in terms on money and time.
I would recommend Marcus to any retailer, hospitality, or location-based business looking for sites to expand its business.”

Simon Parham
Chief Operating Officer

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