By Joan-Maree Hargreaves
The AACS Convenience Leaders Summit was held at the Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour this morning.
Jeff Rogut, CEO of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), said the summit had always been about showcasing leadership. “It’s about people inspiring change and also people that have changed that we need to recognise,” said Rogut.
“Let’s not only inspire change but embrace change.”
He reflected on the issues affecting the industry over the past 12 months including petrol theft and crime, changes to tobacco legislation, the potential of selling alcohol in convenience and an issue emerging as a hot topic: selling pharmacy items in convenience.
“It’s been a fairly full year, as always,” said Rogut. “We’ve had many successful events including ‘Women in Convenience’ events, where we terrific attendance and speakers.”
In terms of the state of the industry, Rogut said there has been movement. “In 2018, sales grew 2.4%,” he said. “In 2019, the current figure 0.8%, so there has been a turnaround.”
Rogut said the study tours have been a huge success and the thinking that these future leaders are bringing to the conversation is worth listening to.
Julie Laycock AACS Chair, and Head of Marketing at 7-Eleven Australia also encouraged the industry to embrace change. “Many are doing this with cashless stores and home delivery options, so we can embrace change,” said Laycock. “But we do need to step it up.”