ACS has teamed up with the Rural Shops Alliance as part of a special ’Big Brands or Fine Foods’ session at Summit11.

Running a convenience store involves constant compromise between different demands on the business, nowhere more so than in deciding what to stock, according to RSA chairman Trevor West. "In the ’Big Brands or Fine Foods’ session, the RSA will explore the issue from three different points of view - the academic, the retailer and the symbol operator - to help store owners come to their own view as to what will work for them," he said.

“On the one hand, customers want to see the big national and global brands, but increasingly, they also want their local shop to sell the locally produced items that are not available in supermarkets, all within limited space. This is particularly true of smaller stores in rural locations, so it is no surprise that we are weighing in with our expertise on this important issue.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The Big Brands or Fine Foods session of Summit 11 is absolutely essential for retailers faced with the challenge of what to stock in store. Having the RSA as a part of Summit will give rural retailers the best possible advice for their business.”

The session will also feature Mary Queen of Shops participants Clealls of Corfe and Professor Alan Hallsworth. For more information, go to