Speaking at day one of the C&I Expo kicked off with the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) Summit, Convenience Measures Australia director Brett Barclay spoke about the changing nature of retail.
“The store of the future is very different to what it is today,” he said.
Along with the other speakers Howland Blackstone, Brooke Miller, Rob Anderson, and James Lowman, Mr Barclay spoke about targeting millennials as the primary customer of the present and of the future.
Mr Barclay noted that the way millennials interact with technology was very progressive.
The statistics show that the average age of the customer in the convenience channel is 39 years old.
“They’re sort of the older millennials, but the younger millennials sit at 22% [of the market], they’re the future of this channel,” he said.
“The millennials are someone everyone’s chasing. Basically what they’re saying is, these customers, the way they interact with stores today is very different.
“They’re always on the go, they never stop.”
King-Casey principal Howland Blackstone said millennials are looking for value.
“In addition to convenience, if you can bring value into the picture, that’s going to be a formidable challenge for the QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants),” he said.
BP VP of sales and marketing Brooke Miller said it’s really important to understand the changes in trends and demographics.
“So consumers all around the world are used to a completely different retail offer, a completely different level of service and a completely different level of product,” she said.
“There’s a wave of disruption happening globally and we’re seeing it in Australia as organisations like Amazon move in.
“We’re becoming a nation of urban hipsters…urban consolation over the next 50 years is estimated to push up the population of Sydney by about three million and Melbourne the same, so this trend is very significant.”
ACS chief executive James Lowman said the convenience market overall needs to be light on its feet and reactive.
“It seems to be that where convenience can be brilliant… is if we all work together to harness data and use it in a much more effective way and if we continue to build the relationships we have with our consumers, which is ultimately the biggest thing we have going for us,” he said.