Retailers and Suppliers Win at C&I Expo

C&I exhibitors ready to show and sell at show opening time.

C&I 2017 was held in Sydney last week with a big turnout from retailers and suppliers who discovered what’s new in the industry as they gathered key industry insights from the AACS Leadership Summit, which was booked out.

Not counting exhibitors, 1537decision makers in the convenience industry visited the event to see the 136 companies that took part in the expo. On the last evening of the show they kicked their heels up at the glittering AACS Gala Awards Dinner which was Sydney’s famous Town Hall.

For the statistically minded, here are some numbers for the C&I Expo:

  • 70% of visitors were either store owners, store managers or middle to senior management.
  • 65% said they are directly involved in the purchasing decisions in the business.
  • 61% said they operate more than one retail outlet.
  • 56% of retailers attending said that they did not belong to any of the recognised buying groups.
  • Fuel retailers outnumbered non-fuel retailers for the first time.

What they said:

Dave Hooker – Executive Director of NZACS

“This is the first time I have attended in a few years and one of the reasons we are here is through the AACS affiliation with NZACS. I have seen a couple of innovative things I haven’t seen before – refrigeration with automatic opening doors and point of sales strips with LED and the tap-down tile flooring. In terms of beverages – it is a kombucha, kombucha and kombucha!”

Fil Prokop – Mrs Mac’s

“We have seen a lot of people over the last two days – pretty much all of the major groups – UCB, NSG, MSO groups as well as smaller players and independent site owners – we have had really good engagement with new contacts that are not familiar with the brand or the product but at the same time it was also good to engage with the people that we already do business with and show our presence. We have had over 100 buyers on the stand each day ranging from multi-site owners through, to head office accounts from BP. 7-Eleven and Caltex. We have had much deeper engagement compared to previous years, so it couldn’t be better.”

Michelle Park – Imperial Tobacco

“One of the main objectives for us to be at the C&I Expo is to build relationships with key retailers and members of AACS. It has been fantastic to hear from retailers what their concerns are and give them all the information they need to capitalise on the tobacco category in their outlet.  This is the second year in a row that we have exhibited at the C&I Expo and we will definitely back again next year. We think it is invaluable for building and maintaining relationships with suppliers and meet with our retailers face to face. Some people that we have met over the last couple of days has been the first time that we have ever spoken to them and then for others we are building the relationship after meeting them so well.”

Theo Foukkare – Pacific Optics

We have seen all of the major retailers come through here – we have seen Woolworths, 7-Eleven, Caltex, United Petrolum, AA Petroleum, all of the UCB team, all of the New Sunrise team, so it has been a great turnout from the majors and we have also seen all of the key independents. We have met some new customers that are dealing with some of our competitors, so it has been a good opportunity to show them everything that we do in the one location and we have had a lot of success. All in all – it has been a great show.

Murray White – Koologik

“I have been participating in exhibitions for many years – I have done Fine Food, FoodPro, I have had stands at many of these exhibitions – this is the first time I have attended the C&I Expo. I was a little bit skeptical as it is a smaller, focused show – and don’t get the huge quantities of people through the door, but I am completely sold on it. I have had a better quality of leads and industry personnel – they are decision makers – buyers, procurement managers, people that can move to the next stage. And there are far more of them at this show than whatever I have seen at other food shows. Although there is less people, the quality is far outweighs the quantity.”

C&I 2018 will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre next August. A floor plan is available and industry suppliers who want to bag a dress circle location should contact Safa de Valois  (

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