Nominations open for Peter Jowett and AACS Store of the Year Awards

The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has announced the dates for the 2021 Leaders’ Summit and AACS Awards night, which will be held on 15 April.

The annual event will be held in Melbourne at Crown and will also incorporate the State of the Industry Report presentation.

With the Leaders Summit comes the Peter Jowett Convenience Industry Awards – and nominations are now officially open to all AACS Retailer and Supplier members under the age of 36.

AACS CEO Theo Foukkare told C&I that the Peter Jowett Scholarship is a unique opportunity to celebrate and challenge the future leaders of the industry.

“Applicants do not need to work within the convenience channel, they might be the brightest minds within your organisation – everyone is welcome,” he says.

The topic for 2021 will be: ‘In light of COVID-19 and the changes of shopper behaviour and dynamics, what do you believe convenience stores need to focus on to remain relevant and provide growth in sales and foot traffic?’

“The thinking behind our question for 2021 is to allow the applicants to really open their thought process and present us with the best innovative ideas they can dream up,” says Foukkare.

“For anyone that was fortunate to spend time with Peter Jowett, they would understand how much passion, commitment and drive he had to continue to innovate, shape the future and showcase talent, creating the ultimate experience for consumers. The AACS Board are excited to see what the 2021 submissions will deliver.”

Participants must submit a written paper of no more than 4,000 words or a 10 slide PowerPoint presentation on the topic.

The top three retailers and top three suppliers will then present their ideas to a group of judges on 14 April, with the winners to present at the Leaders Summit.

Nominations for the Peter Jowett award are required by 12 February and interested participants can contact Theo Foukkare at

The 2021 Leaders Summit and AACS Awards will also feature a revamped Store of the Year award, which is open to all AACS members including single store operators that belong to buying groups.

There are two categories this year: Company-owned or franchised site, and Privately-owned site. The winner of the two categories will be the Australian representative at the NACS International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award.

Submissions can be made via video by 26 February with a summary of initiatives and performance. The top three finalists in each category will then have a professional video of their store completed that will feature at the AACS Gala Dinner where the winners will be announced.

The 2021 Leaders’ Summit and AACS Awards night is being organised with COVID restrictions and possible border closures in mind and will be structured in a way that will allow it to go ahead under any circumstances.

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