ACS Summit22: exploring the future of convenience

ACS’ biggest event of the year returned to Birmingham on 26th April to bring together retailers, suppliers and industry experts to discuss and explore what’s happening in the sector and what retailers and suppliers might expect in the future.  

The first session, Convenience Now focused on the issues that are currently faced by convenience retailers and how they have been responding to these challenges, from the impact of the pandemic, evolving shopper trends and rising costs both for businesses and consumers.

Speakers from this session included: 

  • Kien Tan, Director of Retail Strategy, PwC
  • Mike Hollis, Retail Director, Bestway Retail
  • Mandeep Singh, Premier Sheffield
  • Corinna Trainor, Trainor Bros SPAR

The second session of the day Convenience 2030focused into the immediate future in terms of potential emerging issues, perceived shopping trends and further ahead to technology and the disruptors to our industry over the coming decade.

Speakers from this session included:

  • Tom Peters, Innovation Director, True
  • Ali Jones, Customer Director, Co-op
  • John Hoyle, Founder & CEO, Sook
  • Steven Wilcock, the chair of Trawden Forest Community Centre, Library & Shop

SPAR UK managing director and chair of the ACS board Louise Hoste launched the Raj Aggarwal Trophy, a trophy launched in the memory of independent retailer Raj Aggarwal, celebrating exceptional community retailing. Entries for the award are now open, for more information please contact sarah.johnson@acs.org.uk

Throughout the conference, there was a keen focus on the importance of wellbeing and this was explored through the expertise of Music Psychotherapist Rebekah Duncalfe of Meraki Creative Therapies, looking at what wellbeing means, how retailers can support the wellbeing of others and how this applies to the convenience sector. This year’s conference also featured the addition of a wellbeing room which was available for delegates to use and provided a space for people to relax and regroup. 

ACS chief executive and conference chair James Lowman said: “Summit22 is our first live face-to-face major conference since April 2019 and we are delighted to have been able to bring together people from across our industry to discuss and explore where our sector is now and what the future might look like for convenience stores.

“I would like to thank each and every person who took the time to attend Summit22 to be a part of the discussion, our speakers for providing their fascinating insights and the sponsors of this year’s conference.”

As part of the conference, ACS hosted two exclusive masterclasses exploring high priority issues affecting the convenience sector, one on preventing underage sales (sponsored by Juul Labs) and the second on the upcoming high fat, salt and sugar regulations – recordings from the masterclasses will be available for members shortly via the Member Portal.

Summit22 was kindly sponsored by: Tŷ Nant, Suresite, Ubamarket, JUUL, Rich Products, COOK and Pastorfrigor.