It’s no secret that remote communities rely heavily on their local store to access food.

Future Healthy for Imanpa Store

It’s no secret that remote communities rely heavily on their local store to access food.

Located 200km south west of Alice Springs and 160km east of Uluru the Imanpa community is no exception.

With the support of remote retail specialist Outback Stores the community have been trialling a more a more sustainable and hands on approach to running their store.

A local Indigenous shop keeper has been employed to ensure the store runs smoothly on a day to day basis, with an Outback Stores area manager visiting once every 2 weeks to support. Previously, a non-Indigenous store manager was employed full time, living in the community.

Lesley Luckey has been appointed by the community as the local shopkeeper, a role he has embraced quickly, and takes great pride in.

“I look forward to jumping out of bed each morning, making a cup of tea and heading over to the store to get ready to open. It’s important that we have good looking fresh fruit and veggies for the community. To have local people employed by local business is a really good thing.” he said

The stores major focus has always been on providing great access to a good quality, healthy and affordable food. The store has also undergone a facelift that has includes new fixtures, internal signage as well as a tailored range of products and trading hours to ensure the community is well served.

Outback Stores CEO Michael Borg recently visited Imanpa and was impressed with the leadership shown by the community.

“We know it’s expensive to do business in remote communities. By working closely with the Imanpa store owners we have been able to develop and trial an operating model that is more economically sustainable whilst also delivering good social outcomes. Its’s a model we think that could certainly benefit other communities as well.” Said Michael

Member for Namatjira Chansey Paech, is a strong supporter of the partnership that Outback Stores and Imanpa have built over the last 13 years

“To see such a strong working relationship delivering improved outcomes is really positive. Empowering local people to take more responsibility is making a real difference. I get a real sense of excitement from the community around taking more accountability for shaping their future.” he said

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