Retailers, suppliers and industry partners gathered at ANZ stadium in Sydney’s Olympic Park on November 17 for EzyMart’s annual conference and trade show.
Founded in Bondi, Sydney, in 2001, EzyMart now has more than 250 stores around Australia. The company continues to grow and change year on year – most recently diversifying into providing convenience goods to major hospitals around Australia, the most recent being Westmead Hospital in western Sydney.
Retailers that attended the trade show picked up some great offers from suppliers. The event was followed by a tour through the ANZ stadium warmup room, changeroom, players’ tunnel and out to the arena sideline, where guests enjoyed pre-dinner drinks.
Speaking at the conference dinner, EzyMart founder and CEO Maher Magableh thanked all the loyal suppliers, partners, store managers and staff, “who have done a great job in exceeding our vision in making EzyMart a true staple in the Australian retail market”.
Mr Magableh also highlighted EzyMart’s vision and focus for 2018. “We are going to introduce more grocery items, fresh food and coffee,” he said. “It was always our focus, in previous years, to introduce healthy organic and gourmet items in EzyMart stores.”
Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) CEO Jeff Rogut gave a keynote presentation, sharing highlights from a major study recently completed by AACS and Monash University, Convenience 2030.
The study surveyed people around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, Europe and the US – “countries where convenience really is king,” Mr Rogut said – to find out what the shape of the convenience industry is likely to be in 2030.
The study found the industry’s strengths to include operational efficiency, market presence, consumer demand and industry collaboration
“There’s been enormous work done between retailers and their suppliers and manufacturers,” Mr Rogut said. “It’s a symbiotic relationship – retailers can’t survive without merchandise and suppliers need other sources of retailer other than the major supermarkets who are so focused on just price.”
Challenges facing the industry include increased competition, convenience reputation (particularly in regard to pricing), regulatory compliance, safety and security, operational costs and supply chain.
Emerging trends highlighted by the research include health and wellness, culinary culture, digital engagement, and sustainability. Mr Rogut said these lead to the five key trends going forward towards 2030: food on the go, mobile developments, store experience, value-based marketing, and supply chain.
“The future for our industry is incredibly bright,” Mr Rogut said. “It’s bright around the world, but it really is in our hands as to how successful we want to be.”
Several special guests also spoke at the conference, which was MC’d by journalist and writer Nicole Webb. NRL player Benji Marshall and taekwondo silver medallist Daniel Trenton shared words of wisdom and motivation, and entertainment was provided by musical-cirque duo, Strings on Fire.
EzyMart 2017 Awards
- Beverage Supplier of the Year: Lion Dairy & Drinks.
- Confectionery Supplier of the Year: Nestlé.
- Telco Supplier of the Year: Optus.
- Snacks & Ice-Cream Supplier of the Year: Smith’s Snackfood Company (PepsiCo).
- Account Manager of the Year: Bill Younis from Stuart Alexander & Co.
- Store of the Year: EzyMart, 568 Collins St, Melbourne.
- Best Customer Service: EzyMart, 551 Swanston St, Melbourne.
A number of lucky-door prizes were drawn on the evening, with winners walking away with prizes ranging from store credit to an electric guitar.