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Conference24

The Vox Conference Centre, Birmingham
30.04.2024
8:30am - 2:30pm
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Conference24 is the must-attend event for anyone in the convenience sector looking to grow their business, build valuable relationships, and get exclusive insights on how to respond to the way that consumer habits are changing.

PLUS... Conference24: A Year in Store

We're following four leading independent retailers to understand how the demands of their customers have changed over the last year, and what they've done in store to adapt and respond to those changes. The retailers are:

  • Paul Stone, Stone SPAR (Manchester)
  • Josie Chamberlin, J Robarts & Son (Hertfordshire)
  • Bay Bashir, Belle Vue Convenience (Middlesbrough)
  • Jack Matthews, Bradley's Supermarket (Loughborough)

More content, speakers and partners will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more information about Conference24, the convenience sector event of the year! 

More information about sponsorship opportunities for Conference24 can be found here.

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Event Speakers

Shirine Khoury-Haq, Group CEO, Co-op

Shirine is Group CEO at Co-op, after being permanently appointed in August 2022 and has been a Director on the Co-op Board since joining in 2019. Shirine joined the Co-op in August 2019 as Chief Financial Officer and also additionally became Chief Executive Officer Life Services, leading Co-op Funeralcare, Insurance and Legal Services and underpinning these market-leading businesses.

Before joining the Co-op, Shirine was Chief Operating Officer for the Lloyd’s insurance market, which comprised of more than 50 leading insurance companies operating with over 200 Lloyd’s brokers. She also led the digital modernisation programme for the wider London insurance industry.

In addition to holding senior positions at IBM, McDonalds and insurer, Catlin Group, Shirine has worked in a number of regulated sectors in the UK and overseas including retail, IT, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods.

Shirine is also a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at Persimmon Plc. Previously, Shirine was a Non-Executive Director at the Post Office.

Mark McCammond, Retail Director, Henderson Retail

Mark returned to Henderson Group in late 2014 to lead retail operations at its rapidly growing chain of award-winning c-stores and supermarkets under the SPAR and EUROSPAR brands.
Henderson Retail currently operate 54 SPAR c-stores and 51 EUROSPAR supermarkets of which 80 sites include forecourts with the major oil brands Bp, Maxol and Texaco. In June 2022, Henderson Retail was awarded ‘Independent Retail Chain of the Year’ at the Grocer Gold awards, an award they have won three times in recent years.

With 39 years convenience sector experience, Marks early career was in store management at the Belfast CO-OP Society. In the 1990’s he quickly rose through the ranks at Iceland Foods to become Regional Manager NI & Ireland before joining the Board at Henderson Retail in 2001, as the SPAR Retail Chain set about developing its presence in Northern Ireland. Following a move to Sainsburys Local in 2009 he was Regional Managing Director (North of England and Scotland) on the groups Convenience Board for several years before taking up the Managing Director’s role at SPAR UK Wholesaler Appleby Westward Group in 2012, at which time he also served on the SPAR Food Distributors (SFD) UK Board.

Throughout his career Mark has opened hundreds of new & refitted stores and forecourts, shaped store formats and constantly innovated to deliver business growth and long-term shareholder returns. Mark has lived and worked throughout the UK and Ireland, he is married to Lorraine, they have two daughters Becky and Lucy.
 

Andrew Peake, CEO, VCCP London

Andrew joined VCCP over a decade ago to work with O2. Since then, he has been Head of Account Management and Managing Director, has worked with a number of high-profile clients and has relaunched both easyJet and Canon across Europe. Andrew is currently the CEO of VCCP in London.

Clare Hutchinson, CSO, VCCP

Clare Hutchinson is CSO at VCCP, the UK’s largest advertising agency.

Clare’s focus on Government campaigns has made her a specialist in behavioural science. Over her twenty year career, she has helped over 1 million smokers to quit smoking, she was part of the movement to stigmatise secondhand smoke, and she has transformed rear-seatbelt wearing behaviours.

Clare has also had a lifelong interest in gut health: she is a keen forager and brews kombucha weekly.

She also manages a team of 77 strategists in an agency of over 1000 people, so is curious to see if changing behaviours to have positive impacts on the mind can also impact the gut and the health, happiness and creativity of her team.

Jen Cownie, Planning Director, VCCP

Jen is an integrated brand strategist whose experience spans a variety of categories and markets, including FMCG, retail, transport, and telecommunications. She joined VCCP in 2021 to work with TFL, delivering long term brand building and behaviour change activity to help more Londoners to travel more sustainably, more often. She now works with Virgin Media O2, developing strategies for both brand campaigns and trading moments, as well as supporting the business on the development of future propositions and products.

Jamie Davison, Retail Director, Bestway

Jamie has over 25 years experience in the Convenience and Wholesale sector. Starting his career with Costcutter, he progressed through the business from a Merchandising Assistant to Board level and to Sales & Development Director. Prior to the sale of Costcutter to Bestway Wholesale, Jamie was the Business Development Director, leading the New Business area of the organisation.  Following the acquisition of Costcutter by Bestway, Jamie continued leading the New Business function across the larger organisation and took on additional responsibilities, including National Accounts, Business Support and Store Design & Development. In 2023 Jamie joined the Executive Board of Bestway Wholesale and is today the Retail Director, with overall responsibility for the support and development of the best-one, Costcutter, Bargain Booze/Wine Rack brands, along with relationships held with retailers that trade under their own brand, National Accounts and large contract operators with sites located across the UK. Jamie has previously owned and operated a successful Convenience store business in the York area and has been connected with the ACS throughout his career, with the last 5 years being an active ACS Board member. 
 

Paul Stone, Multi Site Spar Retailer

Paul's family have been proud Spar members since 1973, originally from Yorkshire, Paul grew up literally living above the store and moved across the Pennines to Manchester to study Management Science at UMIST in 1985. Before he had even finished his degree Paul was already running his first store in the suburb of Burnage in South Manchester and in 1994 Paul opened his first 24 Hour city centre store near Manchester University on Oxford Road. At the time it was the only C-store in the city centre and it quickly became very popular. Paul now operates five 24 Hour city centre stores that serve more than 65,000 customers every week.

In 2012 faced with increasing competition from the multiples Paul ventured more into food service and created The Cheeky Coffee Brand.
Cheeky Coffee is now sold in more than 100 Spar store across the North of England.

Over the years Paul's stores have been lucky enough to win several National Awards. Since 2016 he has represented Multi Site Retailers on Spar's National Guild Board and represented Independent Retailers on the ACS Main Board from 2015 until 2021.
 

Steve Bassett, Bassett Holdings

Steve is a retailer of 5 Londis stores in the South West, 4 with Post Offices. Steve has always had a good Food on The Go offer and this summer invested in a dessert bar in his Weymouth town centre store. More recently Steve has launched www.brown-box.co.uk a retail product distribution Company using Smiths & Menzies as the distribution partners reaching 55,000 retailers daily.

 

Bay Bashir, Belle Vue Convenience

Bay has been in retail for 25 years and has five stores which are under the Go Local, The Local and Go Local Extra fascias.

Josie Chamberlin, J Robarts & Son

Has one store in Codicote, Hertfordshire. The 1600sq ft. store celebrated its 175th year of trading in 2016 with a complete refit focusing on fresh and chilled and creating an area for regular wine tastings with the launch of a loyalty wine tasting club. The store won Independent Drinks Retailer of the year in 2017, Community Retailer of the year in 2016 and Unsung Hero Award at the Asian trader in 2016 and was one of the top 34 stores in the top 100 independent stores competition in 2017.

Sue Nithyanandan, Costcutter Epsom

Sue Nithyanandan is Director and Owner of Costcutter Epsom and has been in retail a long time running a forecourt and convenience stores.

Jack Matthews, Bradley's Supermarket

Jack Matthews who is 24, runs Bradley's Supermarkets a five-generation family business with two stores based in Leicestershire. Jack is the latest generation to join the family business and now works alongside his father in developing the stores further recently he has been awarded the IAA Top 100 independent stores in the UK as well as picking up overall best shop. Which is a great achievement for all attached to the business. Jack and his father work hard with national and local suppliers to develop there offering in store and to grow product growth through sampling and community events. The business is heavily involved in the community and is recognised locally as a standout business not only due to the length of time it's been established but because of the high standards of customer service and community work. Jack has joined the business with big ambitions to grow the business and is actively looking for ways to grow !

James Lowman, Chief Executive, ACS

James was appointed ACS Chief Executive in November 2006. He has led ACS on political and policy representation, driven a unique research programme that informs ACS’ policy work, launched an industry-leading assured advice scheme in partnership with Surrey County Council, and created a new and unique events programme. James is a member of ministerial advisory groups including the National Retail Crime Steering Group and the Retail Sector Council. He also sits on the boards of Community Alcohol Partnerships, the Proof of Age Standards Scheme and the London Food Board, and is a sector leader representative to the High Streets Task Force.

Teresa Lindley, UK Trading Director, BP

Teresa joined bp in January, 2023, taking on responsibility for trading within bp’s U.K. company owned stores. She is a board member of the Association of Convenience Stores. Prior to joining bp, Teresa worked at Waitrose for over twenty years, building grocery retail experience through a number of roles within buying, e-commerce and franchise operations disciplines.

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