NCS 2019 is massive hit with visitors and exhibitors

Retailers from across the UK flocked to the National Convenience Show (NCS), which took place at the Birmingham NEC earlier this month. Once there, they found new products, new initiatives and expert advice on how to keep moving their retailing businesses forward.

Visitor Chris Noice, head of comms at the Association of Convenience Stores, summed up the relevance of NCS: “This is the biggest show in the country for convenience, whether you’re a retailer, a supplier, or whether you’re just someone interested in the sector. Attending NCS provides you with ideas you can take back to your business which will help you improve what you’re already doing.”

Daniel Marsden, head of marketing and operations, Booker Group, said: “NCS is the biggest show in the country dedicated to the convenience sector and this is why we come back every year. We attend NCS to meet as many customers as we can, all in one place. It is vital for us to get feedback from our customers to find out what we are doing well and what we can improve upon.”

And the FMCG exhibitors were also pleased with how it all went. Elliott Aspinall, senior business manager, Tetley, said: “NCS has been the most effective trade show we’ve been to – other trade shows can’t get near the footfall. It’s been a great chance to get the product in people’s hands. We’ve met loads of store owners and that’s helped us gain listings.”

Susan Nash, trade communications manager, Mondelez, said: “NCS is great for us as it means we can engage directly with retailers. We have a lot of NPD so it’s been good to get retailers to taste the products and give us their feedback. We particularly wanted retailers to try Cadbury Darkmilk – and they did, and they loved it!”

New products featured in every aisle of the busy show and two were named winners of Innovation@NCS. Those were Blockhead energy gum, described as the “fast, easy and healthy way to get an energy boost”. It delivers an espresso’s worth of caffeine in just five minutes – without the sugar or calories. Loomis’ SafePoint was the other winner. Described as “the key to handling and recycling cash in the digital future”, SafePoint is a range of end-to-end, back-office cash solutions designed to take the hard work out of counting, sorting and banking takings.

NCS 2020 will take place at the Birmingham NEC from 30 March – 1 April.