Innovation ignites at Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit

The biggest event in local convenience retailing took place in September uncovering the ‘Future of Convenience’ for hundreds of guests from throughout the sector

Almost 500 delegates from throughout Ireland’s convenience retail sector attended a landmark event for the industry in September.

Ivan Yates hosts the event in his inimitable style during the Summit

Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit took place on 6 September in Dublin’s Clayton on Burlington Road Hotel, featuring a range of A-list names from the world of convenience retailing.

The event, hosted by firebrand broadcaster Ivan Yates, culminated in a sit-down chat with Canadian founder of global health food franchise Freshii, Matthew Corrin and the company’s chief people officer, Ashley Dalziel.

An audience member asks questions of the speakers during the conference

A global star in the convenience sector and founder of one of the world’s most popular food brands, delegates were fascinated by the Freshii story, and jumped at the chance to ask the entrepreneur about his experiences in running a company that grew fast than Starbucks in its first year.

Applegreen COO Joe Barrett speaks with colleagues

The event also featured Scott Hartman, a multiple US business Hall-of-Famer and president and CEO of multi-award-winning Pennsylvania retailer Rutter’s. Scott spoke about the multitude of innovations at his sites where a customisable touch-screen food ordering system has seen some customers order $30 foot-high burgers.

Meanwhile, Canadian consumer and retail expert, Ted Zittell, took delegates on a journey from the market stalls of ancient Greece to the innovations of today, and demonstrated the disruptive retail models being introduced around the world.

Ted Zittell speaks about new concepts, trends, and retailing ideas that have yet to reach the Irish market

Also addressing delegates on the day was Jamil Qureshi, a motivational speaker and psychologist who provided the audience with a rousing experience of self-discovery and the ability to understand their thought processes and how they could achieve more than they thought possible.

Maxol CEO Brian Donaldson, meanwhile, provided a jaw-dropping journey through the future of retailing, highlighting the disruptive technologies and new thinking that is shaping his company and the sector in general.

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy provided an eye-opening account of Ireland’s economic position, dispelling the myths about ‘Leprechaun Economics’ and explaining how retail was missing out on a major slice of economic pie.

Digital expert Emmanuel Dollé, was also huge hit on the day providing the audience of convenience retailers and senior executives with instant, practical and viable tools to instantly boost their business’s digital presence to get verifiable results.

Speaking after the conference, Bill Penton, managing director of the event’s organising team, Penton Exhibitions Limited, said: “This was a truly exceptional event for the Irish retailing industry. The speaking line-up had never been seen in Ireland before and it was no surprise that the industry turned out in such numbers to hear these valuable lessons.”

Air Serv’s Dessie Aughey, with conference speaker and Maxol CEO Brian Donaldson, along with Bill Penton

The Summit also involved some 40 exhibitors display new retailing innovations during a focused Trade Exhibition that ran alongside the event’s conference.

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy explained how the Irish economy was much healthier than anyone realised
Maxol CEO Brian Donaldson explains his approach to the challenges of electric cars and millennials
Rutter’s President and CEO Scott Hartman tells amazed retailers his stores are “no longer in the retail business; we’re in the restaurant business…”
Delegate John Eivers listens to the speakers
SuperValu director Martin Kelleher (left) at the conference, speaking with Topaz CEO Niall Anderton