CHICAGO—The 2021 NACS Show wrapped up last Friday after a week of reconnecting with friends and colleagues in the convenience and fuel retailing industry, seeing what’s new and what’s ahead and sharing lessons to help our industry continue to thrive.
“Over the past few days, we have celebrated our resilience, our role as essential businesses,” said Henry Armour, NACS president and CEO, “and we’ve examined the issues and trends that will impact our future. But what I’ve enjoyed the most is that we’re finally back together–in-person–here, at the NACS Show.”
As convenience evolves “to be an outcome—or state of mind—not just a physical location,” Armour shared news about a new NACS initiative regarding digital search from the stage of Friday’s General Session.
“NACS sees the evolution of digital in our industry as a critical catalyst for the future of winning trips and building bigger baskets,” he said. “So, we’ve embarked on an initiative, code named “Project Search.”
The aim is to leverage the scale of NACS to help retailer members “define your offer in the digital space.” Armour invited retailers to sign on to the project. “This takes your offer beyond your brand–it tells consumers about the products and services you have in your stores to meet their needs right now!”
Armour highlighted the innovation happening in international markets. “In Asia, the convenience store chain Fook has redefined the entire store experience, using screens and mobile phones to create a hub for customers–increasing both sales and community engagement,” Armour said.
Fook is the winner of the 2021 NACS Asian “Best of the Best” Store Award. The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest total beverage company, sponsored the award.
In Europe, innovation centers around the shopping experience. Armour introduced a video showcasing how Migrolino in Switzerland is redefining cashier-less checkout. Migrolino was featured in the 2018 Ideas 2 Go series.
To close out the General Session, Armour introduced the 2021 Ideas 2 Go program. Look for the 2021 series next year at www.convenience.org/Ideas2Go.