Summit 2018

17th April 2018
The Vox, Birmingham
9:00am - 2:00pm
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ACS Summit is the premier convenience store event of the year. The conference brings together hundreds of retailers, suppliers and industry experts from around the globe to look at the future opportunities within the sector and provide essential key insights for you to take home and implement in your store.

The ACS Summit is set to uncover everything that gives convenience retailers an edge over the competition; our community connections, our local commitment and our ability to think fast and move quickly. We’ll be learning lessons from around the UK and scouring the globe for new ideas that will help us win the hearts – and the pockets – of our customers.

Group discounts for attendees are available. Contact Sarah Johnson at for more information. 


This year’s Summit will be divided into two sessions, each featuring leading expert presentations, panel discussions and films showing the best of innovation in convenience stores. The sessions will explore the opportunities and challenges faced in the sector and provide insights and inspire ideas for retailers to take home and implement within their stores.

The first session looks at how consumers and communities are changing in the UK, and will be chaired by SPAR Managing Director Debbie Robinson.  The second session is chaired by Heron Foods Commercial Director Mike Igoe and will focus on technological changes and how they impact the convenience sector.

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Event Speakers

Jo Whitfield, CEO Co-op Food

Jo joined the Group as Finance Director Retail in 2016 and has now been appointed Chief Executive, Food. Prior to this, Jo was with the Asda business for 8 years and held roles as Finance Director for George, VP for George Operations, International and Strategy and finally VP for Asda General Merchandise, Money and Mobile.

Debbie Robinson, SPAR UK Managing Director

Debbie Robinson is a passionate food marketer with over 25 year’s retail experience. Debbie joined SPAR in 2011 and during that time has been instrumental in SPAR’s strategic ‘Delivering Growth’ 10 Point Plan. She has been closely involved in SPAR’s Round Pound campaign and for increasing penetration of fresh food throughout the SPAR estate.  Debbie has also been working closely with the Marketing Team to deliver SPAR’s TV advertising campaign ‘SPAR There for You’.

Mark Price, former Minister of State for Trade and Investment

Mark Price joined the UK government as the Minister of State for Trade and Investment at the invitation of David Cameron in April 2016. He was made a life peer in February 2016 to become The Lord Price CVO and Baron Price of Sturminster Newton. Mark was reappointed by Theresa May to her post-Brexit Government, with specific responsibility for negotiating the UKs future trade deals. Dubbed ‘one of the nation’s favourite businessmen’ by the Independent, Mark was Managing Director of Waitrose for the preceding 9 years, and Deputy Chairman of The John Lewis Partnership for 3 years.

Mike Igoe, Heron Foods

Mike Igoe joined Heron Foods in the role of Commercial Director on 1st January 2013. His role includes overseeing the development of store formats, branding, merchandising and marketing throughout the company’s 240 store estate.

Paul Chamberlain, ACS

Internationally acclaimed as the most prolific convenience store visitor worldwide, Paul’s extensive industry knowledge allows him to organise the most topical and relevant events to provide networking and sharing of best practice across the sector. As Commercial Director at ACS, Paul’s role is to understand the issues which impact upon the long-term success and relevance of the convenience sector.  Bringing together retailers and suppliers in a meaningful way to share experiences that can deliver this long-term growth.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Christie and Co

Christie & Co is a specialist business property adviser, providing brokerage, valuation and consultancy advice to a variety of sectors, including convenience retail. If you’re looking to buy or sell a business, our dedicated team of retail experts, including 18 agents and 23 RICS Registered Valuers, bring decades of experience to the entire buying and selling process. If you'd like to speak to us about your opportunities, please contact us on 020 7227 0759 or visit for more information.

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