The National Convenience Show, is open for business at NEC Birmingham from 24th-26th April 2017, providing the one-stop shop for retailers, forecourt operators, wholesalers and SubPostmasters to understand how to grow sales and profits through their outlet. With hundreds of exhibitors across NCS2017, The Forecourt Show and the co-located Farm Shop & Deli Show, visitors can access a range of leading brands, products and services to help meet their customers’ needs. Added to this is a 3-day programme of lively, interactive and informative sessions at the Retailer Hub theatre, making NCS2017 the leading industry event to enable retailers to grow their business across the coming year.

With a challenging economic and political environment and increasing pressure from rising business rates and other general costs, it could be a turbulent few months for retailers in 2017. Yet with annual sales in the channel set to grow to almost £42bn by 2021 and over 90% of shoppers claiming to use a convenience/local store at least once a month, retailers have some promising and exciting opportunities to meet these challenges head on. But with so many products, services and opinions on offer it can be a minefield to know which initiatives to back to meet customer need and grow sales and profit. The National Convenience Show is the answer for every retailer, providing the one stop shop where retailers can meet face-to-face with their peers, suppliers and industry experts who can make a significant impact on their business.

Among the hundreds of exhibitors at NCS2017 and the co-located Forecourt Show and Farm Shop & Deli Show, are service providers, leading brands and commercial solutions suppliers who can help retailers maximise the efficiency of their business and drive their bottom line. Across the key categories of Food To Go, Health & Wellbeing, fresh and chilled, exhibitors will be helping visitors to understand how they can tailor their offer to maximise the spending power of their local demographics.

The Subway brand is one of the most well-known and trusted food-to-go franchise brands in the market with over 2,400 stores across the UK and Ireland. Whilst convenience stores may not have been the most obvious location for a Subway franchise, as the Food To Go trend continues to drive growth, Subway has demonstrated the flexibility of its offer, opening in non-traditional store formats such as forecourts, hospitals, schools and colleges. Due to the simplicity of the Subway operation, retailers can incorporate a food to go offer into their store and benefit significantly from working with Subway to offer a quick, efficient and quality service to customers who want to pick up a sandwich and a drink to go. The team from Subway will be on hand at NCS2017 to offer samples across the range of tasty subs and cookies, along with discussing the franchise options available to retailers. In addition to this a range of hot drink suppliers including My Coffee Station and Expresso Plus will be sharing the different solutions available to help retailers cash in on the growing trend for coffee on the go.

Alongside learning about additional services, NCS2017 is also the perfect platform to discover the latest grocery products which could drive incremental sales in store. Brands including Chicken Tonight, Aunt Bessie’s, Battle Oats, Propercorn, and Nakd & Trek will be exhibiting to help visitors understand which products to offer to ensure they are maximising all the opportunities current convenience shopping habits create. And as petfood can often be a key shopping mission for local stores, Butchers Pet Care will also be sharing new products with retailers to demonstrate how their 30 years of heritage goes into creating products which ensure family pets are as Fit as a Butchers Dog!

The NCS2017 also brings under one roof a range of business services which can help retailers run their operation more efficiently and save money. As on-line and e-commerce become more popular amongst time pressured shoppers, exhibitors including Digital Foodie will be available to offer the latest solutions, whilst Concept Data Displays will be demonstrating how to attract additional customer spend through innovative in-store POS. From back-of-house operations, to additional services and new product innovation, NCS2017 brings together a wealth of opportunities for retailers to learn how to grow their profits across their entire business.

But it’s not just the exhibitors who can help visitors, as the Retailer Hub live theatre brings a host of relevant, insightful and practical topics to the heart of the show, debated by industry experts and award -winning retailers. Insight on the latest shopper trends and behaviour is provided by him! and debated by a panel of experts including Raaj Chandarana, Avtar Sidhu and Jai Singh. Every retailer knows keeping an eye on the bottom line is crucial, so on Monday 24th, Saira Khan runner-up in BBC’s The Apprentice will be joining the team to help visitors find the best deals across utilities, finance and insurance to help retailers minimise their costs. Following on from that leading TV talent Tom & Henry Herbert will be using their experience of building a bakery brand to help visitors understand how they can Cash In on Local!

On Tuesday 25th visitors can hear the tenacious and inspiring story of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, from Jimmy himself who’ll share his journey about building a brand from scratch whilst there will be a host of informative and practical sessions around key industry topics such as Price Inflation, Ethics and Community and Understanding Your Customer. For forecourt retailers, there will also be the opportunity to hear about the latest challenges, legislation and opportunities within the sector. And finally, before the show closes on Wednesday 26th April the winner of the Great New Idea 2017 will be crowned, recognising the best innovation in either products or services from the show as voted for by visitors – you can click on the website and vote for your favourite now with a chance to win £250!

Returning to NCS2017 having benefitted from previous visits, Jai Singh is eager to find out what’s on offer to build his business over the next 12 months:

‘’We’ve worked really hard to build our store and listened to our customers to make sure we’re selling what they want to buy. But even then, a couple of days out at an event like NCS can give you time to stop and think about ‘What-next’ and meet the people who can give you the answers to what might be big over the coming year’’

So, the stage is set for another fantastic year at NCS2017 where visitors can expect to meet leading suppliers, retailers and experts to grow their business.

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