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Local Shop Report 2018

11th September 2018
The National Space Centre, Leicester
10:00am - 1:00pm
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ACS’ flagship report will provide a detailed look at the convenience sector and the innovative services and features offered by stores to their local communities. 

The 2018 Local Shop Report will be the seventh edition of the report and will build on the data from previous editions to highlight key areas of change and development that we have seen over recent years. The Local Shop Report is the essential guide for those interested in the convenience sector, whether from a retail, supplier, academic or political background. The launch event will provide an exclusive first look at the data.

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Event Speakers

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, created a new and unique events programme, and increased membership and engagement from all parts of the industry. He has been recognised for his work with outstanding achievement awards from HIM, Palmer & Harvey, YIGA, and the Retail Industry Awards. 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 London Food Board and the High Streets Task Force. James joined ACS in 1997. He has a degree in Politics from the University of Essex, and an MBA from Kingston Business School.

Michael O'Loughlin, Chief Operating Officer, SimplyFresh

Michael O’Loughlin has over two decades of retailing experience. In 2008 he was appointed Managing Director of Applegreen UK and in 2017 Michael moved to MFG as Managing Director of Acquisitions and Business Development. Michael joined SimplyFresh as Chief Operating Officer in 2020.

Laura Joyce, Senior Account Manager, HIM

Laura spent the early stages of her career in an on trade market consultancy firm before joining HIM in January 2017. In her role as Client Development Manager, she is predominantly focused on the impulse category; identifying key opportunities and trends to help her clients thrive. Having worked with some of the largest FMCG suppliers, Laura has vast experience in shopper insights and a keen eye for growth.

David Rees, Editor, Convenience Store

David Rees has been editor of Convenience Store, the local store industry’s leading publication, since 2005. Over the past decade he has closely monitored and commented on changes in the fast-moving convenience store industry, and has built up a wealth of experience and contacts to continue to deliver the industry’s favourite information brand both through the core fortnightly magazine and new channels such as the website.

Katie Cross, Research Manager, ACS

Katie joined ACS is March 2016, having achieved a first class degree in Psychology from the University of Kent.

As Research Manager, Katie is responsible for the research programme at ACS and has analysed all of the primary data in this year's report.

Sundher Sandher, One Stop

Sunder was born in Leamington Spa, getting into retail straight after leaving school. He has been running the same store for 34 years, managing to obtain D32/33 and Investors In People. His store has been featured as part of a study tour by AACS (the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores) where a group of 30 flew over to discover the best in UK convenience retailing. 

Sunder is a governor for two local schools, has been a Magistrate for 10 years at Coventry Court and is an international member of NACS. 

Sunder has won many national awards, most recently presented by Theresa May for over 25 years retailing. Sunder also sits on many panels including for HIM, P&G, Coca Cola, K.P and Phillip Morris.

Sunder and his family have also appeared on the BBC's Turn Back Time: The High Street series, running a store with products and technology from the 1970s. 

Mike Fitton, Franchise Business Manager, Southern Co-operative

Key to Southern Co-op’s current growth with franchisees, Mike has more than 20 years experience working across franchisees, independent retailers, wholesale and the convenience trade. Mike has worked in the retail industry since leaving school - working his way from the warehouse to the shop floor. He has experience as a store manager, area manager, regional manager, sales director and as UK head of sales before his current role at Southern Co-op’s head office in Portsmouth. Former employers have included Budgens Ltd, Musgrave, Nisa, and A F Blakemore. His roles have also meant he has worked closely with third party businesses such as Q8, TOTAL, Jet Conoco and BP. Since being part of Southern Co-op, he has developed a successful franchise model under its own label and fascia which has taken the number of ‘Welcome’ franchises to 25. He has also been instrumental in developing a franchise with Starbucks which has seen Southern Co-op open three high street Starbucks coffee shops. A key part of the success of both Southern Co op and the franchisees has been their focus on integrating with their local communities.

Avtar Sidhu, Budgens

Avtar Sidhu (Sid) began his working life in software only moving into retail relatively recently. He decided that he would like to enter the retail industry and run his own convenience store. He bought a very old fashioned store which, over its 30 year life, had had little or no investment. Sid was determined to incorporate the latest thinking into his store and so after multiple store visits and detailed research, planning permission for a new multipurpose building with business premises and accommodation was granted. Demolition of the old building followed and after a year and a total spend in the region of £750,000 he was open for business. Sid’s aim was to match his store to the aspirational demographic of his customers and he sees his shop as a mini ‘Waitrose’ with a high quality offer and excellent value for money.