This year, six presenters from Australia, Canada
and New Zealand delivered their solution-filled
ideas to the following question during the “Bright
Ideas From Around the World” session: How should
the convenience industry enhance service in order
to create a customer experience that can build a
sustainable competitive advantage and generate
Moderated by Jeff Rogut, executive director of the
Australasian Association of Convenience Stores,
the session brought forth ideas on mobile apps, loyalty, beacon technology, enhancing the customer
experience and sticking to retail basics of exemplary customer service and in-store execution.
Callum Mackay, project coordinator at 7-Eleven
Stores Pty. Ltd. in Australia, was named the winner
in the retailer category, where he emphasized the
need for convenience store operators to excite and
delight their customers by offering a targeted and
personalized experience through social media,
mobile payments and analyzing customer data.
Kathryn Newiss, key accounts manager for Philip Morris Limited in Australia, won in the supplier
category for her ideas on using beacon technology
to engage customers and create loyalty inside the
store with highly targeted and timely promotions.
At the second educational session, “Global Store
Innovations,” Joseph Bona, president of CBX,
and Dan Munford, managing director of Insight
Research, shared examples of how global shopper
needs have influenced store format development
and elevated the overall consumer experience.
“Strategic insight has never been more important,
precisely because the retail world is changing so fast,”
said Munford. Those changes, added Bona, extend
well beyond the fallout from the rise of ecommerce.
“For example, the phenomenon of channel-blur-ring has led to a proliferation of competitors from
outside the traditional c-store sector,” Bona said.
“Whether you’re talking about c-stores, QSR and
fast-food chains or pharmacies and grocery stores,
all of these retail categories are chasing the same
consumers. C-stores must raise their game.”
Munford noted that convenience store operators
in Europe and the United States are accomplishing
this by offering foodservice. However, the trick
is not just to offer higher-quality food, but also to
elevate the overall customer experience.
“Coffee shops in the U.K., for example, are
booming, not because consumers are drinking more
coffee, but because they fill a ‘social venue’ gap in
society — one that used to be met by pubs,” Bona
said. “Today’s c-stores have the opportunity to do
the same thing.”
In conclusion, Bona summed up the takeaway
from current retail trends. “In the old days, people
went to c-stores simply because they were easy to
shop,” he said. “Today, they’re looking for some-
thing more. They want a pleasant environment,
high-quality food, convenient locations, and, yes,
good deals. The challenge moving forward is to
exceed these rising expectations on all fronts.”
Beyond the four-day NACS Show, convenience retailers from around the world can rely on NACS to help
identify best practices in retailing, as well as thought
leadership and insights on key industry-specific issues
— either during the early stages of development or in
Be on the lookout for upcoming global retailing
NACS events in 2015, including the Global Forum
in Singapore and the NACS Insight Convenience
Summit – Europe in Berlin and London.
Chris Blasinsky is the director of editorial projects at NACS. She can be reached at cblasinsky@
JOIN US AT THE
NACS GLOBAL FORUM
The best of global convenience retailing is grabbing center stage at the upcoming
NACS Global Forum. Taking place March 22-26, 2015, in Singapore, the event introduces
convenience and fuel retailers to the diverse perspectives and experiences of perfor-mance-driven industry leaders and experts.
Through an interactive format, the program features retailer case studies, panel discussions, networking opportunities and the popular retail format tours, where attendees
will experience firsthand global retail strategies in and around Singapore.
The NACS Global Forum also provides an opportunity to network at a variety of formal
and informal meetings, receptions and dinners. Past attendees have included CEO and
C-level executives from Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia, and North and South America.
NACS member and non-member retailers are invited to register for the Global Forum
in Singapore. Supplier attendance is limited to Global Supplier Council members.
For more information, go to nacsonline.com/globalforum or contact NACS Meetings and Special Events Director Meredith Thomas at email@example.com.