NACS Show highlights international flair
December 1, 2009
The NACS International Forum at the NACS Show focused on the theme ‘International Trends in a Changing Economy’, providing attendees with ideas and solutions designed to help weather the economic storm.
Educational programs featured global best practices, including cross-cultural differences that complicate global leadership.
“These differences can make global leadership particularly challenging,” said David Bowen of the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.
Bowen explained how “similar challenges can arise in one’s own backyard, with a diverse workforce”. His research has shown that having a global mindset positively impacts organisational behaviour and human resource management, which in turn influence both employee and customer satisfaction.
Following Bowen’s presentation, attendees heard about store layout and design in ‘Global Trends in Convenience Retail Design’, presented by Joe Bona, president of CBX Consulting. Bona suggested differentiating from the competition by focusing on the store layout.
“Milk, juice and dairy can be in the middle of the store to put a stronger emphasis on fresh. Essentially, it’s not changing what you sell, but how you sell it,” said Bona.
‘So, You Think You Know Your Customers’ confirmed and eradicated some convenience industry shopper myths. Mike Greene, CEO of him!, has been recognised as one of the leading advisors and leaders of international convenience and small-format retailing. NACS partners with him! to offer the Convenience Tracking Program (CTP), which provides shopper insights research for NACS members in the United States.
Dan Munford, a partner at UK-based Insight Research, led a discussion on ‘Global C-store Innovations’. From fresh-baked pastries to sleek design and effective signage, the solutions presented during the workshop could be used as excellent benchmarking tools.
“The concept of convenience is changing,” said Munford. “Stores are still fighting for consumers who are in a hurry, but there is also now a notion of freshness that dominates the business.”
Munford took the audience on a virtual journey around the world — from British retailers Asda and Waitrose, to Irish retailer Applegreen and South African retailer Pick n Pay — to showcase some of the best ways to incorporate freshness and other important concepts into the store experience.
“With instant communication, it is even a smaller world than ever before — everything that happens in one part of the world impacts another,” said Neerja Kathuria, NACS vice president of international and industry analytics.
“In order to be successful, it is vital for operators to understand and interpret global trends in their own context. The knowledge participants gained from the International Forum will enable them to be well prepared and succeed in their respective markets,” continued Kathuria. “We hope the participants walked away with at least a few actionable ideas that they can implement to grow their business right away.”
December 2009 Issue