Over 100 attendees from around Australia and New Zealand gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Adelaide for this year's Convenience Leaders Summit on the 14th & 15th November 2011.

There was a particular interest in the Summit given some of the challenging retail conditions around Australia as well as legislative pressures on areas affecting the industry e.g. new tobacco regulations, potential effects of the new carbon tax and retailers and suppliers seeking insights into new opportunities.

The Summit had the opportunity of hearing from Yasser Shahin, Peregrine Corporation, and operators of the very successful ‘On the Run’ stores as well as ‘Smokemart’ stores.
  Brett Barclay, him! research & consulting discussed the current trends in
Convenience as well as a view on what the next three years might bring.

Dr Sean Sands & Carla Ferraro, from the ACRS at Monash University  presented the findings of the research project commissioned by AACS into  “Convenience 2020” – what the industry might look like in 2020 as well as opportunities and challenges as seen by industry thought leaders as well as 1000 consumer insights into their ideal Convenience store offer of the

Kosta Konomos and Leigh Shaw, Nielsen presented on the current state of the industry as well as demonstrated their ‘Virtual Store’ technology which can be of great benefit to both retailers and suppliers.

Our dinner guest and speaker was The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, member for Sturt in SA and Manager of Opposition Business in the Federal Parliament, who, after his speech engaged attendees in a lively question and answer session on current topical issues.

Mike Igoe from PayPoint in the UK presented a new perspective on services available for offer to Convenience stores and how to go about this with technology which is operating in over 23,000 stores in the UK 
Adrian Williams from IGD in the UK presented a wide ranging view of retailers and convenience stores globally with some terrific insights into current and emerging trends.

A Panel Discussion with Adrian Williams, Craig Sargent of Mars, and Chris Garlick of BP moderated by Brett Barclay,
discussed a raft of issues, opportunities and challenges from various perspectives.

The group then had the opportunity to visit a selection of the highly successful "On the Run" stores across Adelaide hosted by Yasser Shahin and the GM of the group, Michaela Webster. Some terrific insights were gained by all.

Attendees will receive a CD summarising key presentations over coming weeks at no cost.  Copies of the CD can be obtained from AACS for those who did not attend at a cost of AU$99 [incl GST].

NZ Comment:

The summit was very much research driven with great reports unfortunately not all relevant to New Zealnd as we have a different trading environment. Of particular interest was the statistics from the UK and Europe where Grocery are losing market share and Convienence is growing. Some major supermarkets are turning to a Convienence model for their High Street stores as well as traditional grocery retail.

Yasser Shahin of the Peregrine Corporation appears to have the right model for food offers within his stores.   He owns the
Franchise and therefore has full control.   Noodles in a box, Subway and his own coffee offer were some of his offers.   Well worth a look at his BP and Mobil sites of which he has 80 in Adelaide.

The Convienece Leaders summit for 2012 will be held in New Zealand.   Recommendations and help with overseas speakers would be welcomed by your management committee.  Please contact us for your suggestions.