The convenience industry recently came together in St Andrews to take part in SGF Conference. The event, which is the centrepiece of the Scottish convenience calendar, gave over 200 delegates, representing over 1000 stores, the chance to discuss the main opportunities and challenges the industry faces. This unique event brought together a broad range of wholesalers, suppliers and convenience retailers from major national and international companies to independent local shops.
SGF Chief Executive John Drummond said: “The SGF Conference is about facing the big strategic challenges and looking at practical ideas that we can take away and put into practice, whether a large convenience retailer or an independent. The range of the delegates and the quality of the speakers makes the SGF Conference unique and important for the sector.”
Organised around the theme of a ‘Winning Formula’, speakers included leading industry figures Graeme Knowles speaking at his first conference as the newly appointed SGF President; Neil Turton of Nisa; Steven Fox of Booker; Andrew Thornton, Budgens independent retailer; Andy Davis of BP; market research expert for the industry, Ed Garner and supplier Jonathan Kemp of A.G. Barr. In addition, Shona Robison MSP, Public Health Minister, announced additional funding from the Scottish Government of £670,000 over three years, to support the roll out of Phase 4 of the SGF Healthy Living Programme.
John Drummond said; “As the convenience sector becomes more and more competitive with increasing threats from the multiples and discounters speakers shared their passion for the industry with delegates and identified practical ways that retailers can be unique and see off these threats whilst harnessing new opportunities.”