Outback Stores work with Indigenous communities to provide retail services and management on a fee-for-service basis. Any profits from the store go to the store owners who can choose to invest the money back into the store and the community.
Outback Stores has a strong policy that it can only help manage a store once it has been invited by the local community.
Usually, a community will approach Outback Stores seeking a proposal to provide retail management services for their store. We start our work by looking at how the store is operating, talk to community leaders about its financial status, their expectations, and Outback Stores’ operational procedures.
Outback Stores can provide management services to stores which are already commercially successful or those that require funding to continue to operate. If a store requires funding to continue operating, the government must agree to fund to the store before Outback Stores starts managing.
When both parties agree on how to work together, a management agreement contract between the community and Outback Stores is signed.
These agreements vary from community to community, however, Outback Stores insists on three key points:
1. While Outback Stores’ job is to run the day-to-day operations of the store, the ownership of the store remains with the store owners
2. Outback Stores employs the store managers
3. No “book up” (short-term credit provided by a trader that allows goods to be purchased and paid for later) is allowed to be used in the store.
A store committee made up of local residents is formed and the store managers are appointed by Outback Stores, in consultation with the store committee.
When Outback Stores begins managing a store, we work closely with the store owners to develop a plan to get the store operating at its full potential.
For more details on the structure of Outback Stores operations, please take a look at our carefully developed Operations Pillars of Success.