We all know that today’s shoppers are savvier than ever keen to shop around for the best price or product so it is imperative that retailers are up to date with all the latest trends to meet those shoppers’ needs.

The National Convenience Show, which takes place later this month, is the perfect place for forecourt retailers to review the latest products, as well as see new technology and services, from pos support to cutting-edge payment processes that can improve efficiency and the in-store experience.

This year’s show includes almost 120 exhibitors including Bobby’s, Booker Group, Boost, Diageo, Easy Coffee, Eat Natural, Grenade, Jacobs Douwe Egberts; Nestlé Professional, Philip Morris, Stone Willy’s Kitchen, Urban Eat and Yeo Valley.

Away from consumables, visitors can get free advice from the Bank of England, which will be on hand to help businesses identify fraudulent bank notes; CBE Software, for the latest in business services and technology; BCB ATN to learn all about using Bitcoin in their stores; and parcel firm My Hermes.

The Retailer Hub, the show’s stage for topical discussions, will look at the major topics affecting convenience retailers.

Highlights from the Hub:

The meaning of mega-mergers 12.15; Monday April 16

Find out what the experts think about the recent big mergers (Booker/Tesco and Co-op/Nisa) and their views on how they will affect the convenience market. Panellists include Steve Fox, MD of Booker Group Retail.

Every customer counts 13.00; Monday April 16

This is a live Q&A with the ’Customer Whisperer’ Kate Hardcastle who has shared her insights on BBC, ITV and Sky.

See the shoppers’ eye view 13.00; Tuesday April 17

Find out what happened when Him used sophisticated ClipCam technology to capture shoppers’ eye movements in-store. Him’s Blake Gladman shares data and insights that will help you maximise your communications, make your merchandising matter and create more displays that pay.

At your foodservice 13.45; Tuesday April 17

A panel of wholesalers and retailers will talk you through the best-selling categories as well as the increasingly blurred lines between foodservice and retail routes to market. Panellists include John Want from Adelie Foods and Martyn Parkinson from Premier.

Prioritising profit 12.15; Wednesday April 18

How you can fight back against rising costs and slow sales growth by outwitting your competition. Panellists incude Gerry Hooper from Zapper.

Digital Hub

Alongside the Retailer Hub will be the complementary Digital Hub, where retailers can learn all about social media from a trading point of view. Pete Doyle, founder and CEO of SocialRetail Group, will offer his advice on social media. With 28 years’ experience in retail across retailers including Waitrose, Toys R Us and Marks & Spencer, he is well placed to bring retailers up to speed. He will run five 15-minute demos throughout each day, with different sessions suited to each level from beginner to advanced.

The sessions tailored for beginners will cover how to do your own social media health check and how to write more engaging content to encourage customer interaction online.

At the intermediate level, for those retailers who have grasped the basics but need a little more guidance on maximising the benefits of social media, sessions will cover how to run ad campaigns on Facebook and Twitter a tool that can be very useful in targeting the right users and getting the most out of social. For those most advanced visitors to the Digital Hub, the focus will be on how to do social media promotions in your shop.

Another session will explore which social platform is best suited to each business, guiding store owners on how to communicate effectively with their customers through social media. An expert will break down the differences between each platform, from Twitter and Instagram to LinkedIn, and clarify when and in what cases each should be used to turn ’likes’ into lucrative sales.

Farm Shop & Deli Show

Meanwhile, the co-located Farm Shop & Deli Show gathers together the latest artisanal food and drink products in one place, so that retailers interested in the development of fine foods can get the inside track on what trends will be big in the coming year. Speciality food remains in high demand and the 450-strong exhibitor line up at the Farm Shop & Deli Show will cover all aspects of this sector.

The Farm Shop & Deli Live area will once again host an insightful and comprehensive educational programme. Visitors will benefit from live demonstrations, topical debates, tastings and presentations given by industry leaders, who will provide inspiration for the next stage in their businesses. Topics will range from coffee tasting, led by Monkshood Coffee, to how best to market offers on social media and appeal to the rising number of ’free from’ customers, led by Digital Blonde.

ACS involvement

Highlighting the importance of the National Convenience Show to the convenience channel, the annual ACS Summit will also run at the event on Tuesday, April 17. The conference sessions are set to highlight future opportunities within the sector and provide essential key insights for retailers to take home and implement in their store.

This year’s Summit is divided into two sessions, each featuring presentations from industry leaders, panel discussions and films showing the best innovation in convenience stores. The sessions will explore the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and provide insights and inspiration for retailers to take home and implement within their stores.

Speakers already confirmed include: Lord Mark Price, former MD of Waitrose, and former trade minister; Debbie Robinson, MD of SPAR UK (session chair); David Robinson, MD of Conviviality Retail; Mike Igoe, Commercial Director of Heron Foods (session chair); Hidenori Tsunematsu, FamilyMart; and Paul Dobson, head of wholesale convenience, Morrisons. There will also be a video tour of some of the most innovative convenience stores in the UK and Europe.

Dan Eversfield from the National Convenience Show said: "The 2018 edition of the National Convenience Show is crucial to identifying the tools that will enable you to develop your business and, with business diversification increasingly important for survival, the Farm Shop & Deli Show is likely to give forward-thinking retailers winning ideas for incremental revenue and differentiation."

The National Convenience Show is co-located with four other events The Ingredients Show, Foodex, the Farm Shop & Deli Show and Food & Drink.

To register to attend NCS 2018 go to www.nationalconvenienceshow.co.uk

new products at ncs 2018

Catch up with Actiph Water on stand G28 and find out about its highly alkaline, antioxidant water designed for those who want to live an active lifestyle to the full.
Find out about Boost Drinks’ plans on stand J39, which include new products and its biggest-ever distribution drive.
F’real will be showcasing its Big Blue Milkshake Machine, which is available in over 18,000 locations in North America. It is self-serve and lets shoppers customise their shakes. Find it on stand L21.
Check out Kervan Gida’s Dexters ’3 for £1’ range on stand J18, where you can also enter a Guess the Flavour competition.
Meet up with the Grenade team on stand J38 where you can find out all about the Carb Killa range.

Win a car with TLM

TLM Technologies, the technology and support provider for convenience and fuel retailers, will mark the launch of its innovative new evoPOS system at the National Convenience Show by giving away a new car worth £8,000.
The next-generation solution has been developed to modernise retailers’ epos systems ready for the digital era and is compatible with both Oracle Prism2 and Iridium2 the two most commonly used older systems, meaning retailers can effortlessly make the switch.
TLM says this new system also stands out from the crowd in the way it is purchased, as it is the first epos delivered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that is charged on a monthly basis. There will be a series of demonstrations on the TLM stand (N40), with representatives happy to take visitors through the groundbreaking system. Convenience and forecourt retailers attending the National Convenience Show will be invited to sign up to take advantage of a 10% early bird discount, meaning they can start using evoPOS from as little as £999. Any customers who make a purchase during the show will then be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a Renault Twizy. One lucky retailer will be chosen at random after the show and will get the Twizy, liveried with their own logo and TLM branding. The compact car is electric with zero emissions.
Lee Papper, chief executive at TLM says: "The Twizy reflects the same out-of-the-box thinking we’ve brought to epos with evoPOS and we are excited to show people how it works at NCS, as well as choose one lucky winner who will get a brand new car."