We attended the 2019 ACS Summit at the Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham this week, which is positioned as 'the premier learning event in the sector' offering invaluable networking opportunities with all key players in the industry. The one-day flagship event brought together retail expert opinions and speakers from both within and outside the Industry to discuss #TheFutureOfRetail and the offering highstreets will need to provide in order to meet changing consumer demand.
The day was split into two parts, with Session One investigating the trends and developments changing the retail supply chain and how consumers purchase products; and Session Two looking at what convenience stores could be selling in the future, and how these products and services will make the sector even more relevant to the lives of consumers.
'The striking USP of the convenience sector is reach.'
James Lowman, Chief Executive, ACS in his opening keynote
Key speakers of the conference included Ken Towle, Chief Executive Officer of NISA Retail; Andy Cresswell, Chief Retail Officer at BESTWAY Wholesale; Jonathan James, Owner of JAMES Convenience Retail and Jackie Mackenzie, MD Group Functions at SPAR UK.
FAVOURITE QUOTES OF THE DAY:
Ken Towle, Chief Executive Officer of NISA Retail: "The customer is truly changing, so store offering, products and services need to be adapted."
Harry Walker, Industry Head, Grocery Retail at Google: "Today’s consumer has almost unlimited choice - technology can help to cut through this choice."
Jackie Mackenzie, MD Group Functions at SPAR UK: "Businesses in convenience need to own their digital storefront, providing the correct Information a about the location, opening times and services."
SUMMARY OF THE DAY:
We see a very bright future for the convenience sector! No other industry offers the same level of reach or is as deeply embedded in its local community. This year's ACS Summit did not only provide a detailed outlook on the convenience offer of the future, but also highlighted industry trends for which the sector already starts providing innovative solutions. UK’s independent c-stores, symbol groups and retail chains truly embrace the growing consumer demand for more convenient and personalised products and services. Even for the 'ecommerce and tech-savvy' millennials and Gen-Z, the local convenience store clearly has its established place for dedicated shopping missions, thanks to its proximity, customised assortment and supplementary services. All this taken into account, technology remains the key to stay relevant in this ever accelerating retail environment, and the c-store of the future combines a seamless physical and digital presence.
We had a great time networking with senior decision makers and retail business leaders. Thank you to the Association of Convenience Stores for hosting another fantastic event again this year, and we look forward to further growing our nationwide network of Parcelly PUDO locations and business partnerships... #parcellove