The two winners of the Peter Jowett Awards were recognised at the AACS 2022 Conference held in Sydney last Thursday.

Winner of the Retailer award was Joshua Cooper of bp, who succeeded after an afternoon of judging in front of the AACS Board, Major Retailers & Diamond members ahead of other finalists Sophie Gray, also from bp, and Ashlea Ketis from APCO Service Stations.

Winner of the Supplier award was Matt Gronow of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners. Gronow came in ahead of Emma McLeod of Asahi Beverages and Constance Kyriakoullakis of Mars Wrigley.

The pair triumphed, following a record number of submissions, based on their answer to the question that if they were CEO of a leading convenience retailer or supplier, how they would future proof their business by winning customers hearts, spend, and loyalty.

In his presentation, Cooper identified three key trends affecting the convenience industry, which were technological advancements, demographic changes, and the electrification of vehicles.

Peter Jowett Retailer award winner, Joshua Cooper of bp.

In response to the technological advancement trend, Cooper suggested creating hyper-personalised consumer experiences by ensuring offering and experiences are tailored to customers on a personal basis.

In response to demographic shifts, Cooper proposed introducing the hyper-localisation of convenience stores. While the third point on the electrification of vehicles, Cooper said convenience stores need to adapt to the length of time a consumer will now spend at a convenience store by providing foods and services to make the time spent there more desirable.

Gronow put himself as CEO of beverage company NEO beverages, and made use of new, current, and underutilised technologies to ensure customer’s hearts, spend, and loyalty was won.

Matt Gronow and Felicity Needham.

Some of Gronow’s ideas included ensuring optimal product and brand placement across digital platforms to appeal to EV drivers waiting for their cars to charge.

In what Gronow dubbed “the forgotten innovators”, he proposed using existing technology such as plastic pallets as opposed to wooden ones, offering a more sustainable solution to his supply chain.

Another innovative solution Gronow suggested was the use of rotating fridge shelving, a technology that already exists, giving one fridge door a two-door planogram.

The two winners of the tightly contested awards have won a trip to AACS international study tour to US in October, valued at over $15,000 each.

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