Brett Barclay speaking at the UCB Conference on the Gold Coast.

Speaking at the United Convenience Buyers (UCB) conference on the Gold Coast, CEO Darren Park small businesses and convenience stores needed to be sticking together.

Mr Park opened the business session of the conference, speaking to attendants about the state of the industry and the key parts of business.

He stressed that a convenience store needed to be: “Destination not desperation- convenience has always got to the be the convenience solution.”

Mr Park went on to say that while everything looks simple on paper, supply and distribution is not easy.

“Supporting independents is what UCB do,” he said.

Mr Park was followed by Brett Barclay, CEO of Convenience Measures Australia (CMA).

Mr Barclay spoke on change within the convenience industry and noted it’s important by saying: “If you’re not thinking about change right now, you’re being left behind”.

“The advantage you had yesterday, will be replaced by the trends of tomorrow,” he said.

“You don’t have to do anything wrong, as long as your competitors catch the wave and do it right, you can lose out and fail.”

Mr Barclay also spoke about current trends within the market.

“In a $8.3 billion dollar industry…the four categories that are giving us growth are tobacco, drinks, general merchandise and on-the-go food,” he said.

He noted that the: “intent of the shopper is not so impulsive”, saying that over time: “we’ve changed the habits of the customer”.

Mr Barclay said of the customers that were surveyed by CMA, 94% of shopper bought what they intended to buy.

“You need to make sure your speed of service is good, it’s all about enhancing your offer,” he said.

Mr Barclay finished up his presentation with three points of advice to the suppliers and retailers who were present.

“1. There’s still work to be done.

  1. Don’t get left behind.
  2. Support buying groups to maximise opportunity.”

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