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10th April 2019
The Vox Conference Centre, Birmingham
9:30am - 2:00pm
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Summit is the ACS flagship event, bringing together expert opinions from retailers and speakers from both within and outside the Industry. This is the premier learning event in the sector and also affords valuable networking opportunities with all the key players within the industry.

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Session One: How are products going to reach the consumer? The UK’s 46,000 convenience stores reach into more communities than any other business sector, providing a truly local shop for millions of consumers. With customers constantly redefining convenience for consumers, what role will our sector play? This session will investigate the trends and developments changing the retail supply chain and how consumers purchase products.

Session Two: What is the product offer of the future? Convenience stores are agile, changing their offer to meet the needs of their local communities and take advantage of emerging trends. This session will look at what convenience stores could be selling in the future, and how these products and services will make the sector even more relevant to the lives of consumers.

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Event Speakers

Harry Walker, Industry Head, Grocery Retail, Google

Harry joined the Google UKI retail management team in 2017 in charge of leading the sales team responsible for developing eCommerce initiatives and strategies across a portfolio of retailers focussing on the Grocery sector.

Having joined Google in 2012, Harry has worked in various roles working with the UK's biggest brands leading Google's efforts across a diverse set of industries from Utilities and Education to the Food Delivery industry,

A graduate from the University of Bristol Harry also holds an MBA from INSEAD

Ken Towle, Chief Executive Officer of Nisa Retail

Ken joined Nisa as CEO from international franchise operator, Alshaya. Having held multiple management and director positions in various businesses including Tesco, Ken is a strong leader with excellent in-depth UK and international industry knowledge gained through his career. His strength in leadership combined with excellent industry knowledge is a great asset for Nisa and its partners.

Andy Cresswell, Chief Retail Officer at Bestway (session chair)

Jonathan James, Owner of James Convenience Retail (session chair)

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.

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.

Paul Chamberlain, Commercial Director, 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.

Jackie Mackenzie, SPAR UK, MD Group Functions (Interim)

Jackie Mackenzie joined SPAR UK in 2016 as CIO where she has been responsible for SPAR’s financial accounts, management information, supply chain and technology operations. She has subsequently taken on the responsibility for central HR, legal and governance issues and since January 2019 has taken on the interim joint-MD role leading the SPAR UK team.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Michael Page

PageGroup  employs over 6,000 people in 36 countries and reported a gross profit of over £700m in 2017. The three core PageGroup brands are made up of specialised recruitment teams that operate across 25 disciplines from actuarial to technology. The Michael Page team specialise in the recruitment of temporary, contract and permanent roles typically at second and third job level upwards. Page Personnel is a recruitment partner for businesses requiring clerical support. Page Executive is the executive search division of the Group specialising in search, selection and talent management of senior professionals on a permanent or interim basis. A lot has changed in the last forty years at PageGroup and the Group continues to grow and evolve in order to deliver specialised sector experience, market knowledge and a consultative approach to recruitment. One thing that remains unchanged is the PageGroup commitment to the professional success of its clients, candidates and employees. The company values of pride, passion, never give up, work as a team and make it fun, are as evident now as they’ve ever been.

Michael Page are the main sponsor of Summit 18

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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.

Christie & Co are an official session sponsor of Summit 18. 

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