The 2014 Local Shop Report from the Association of Convenience Stores made headlines earlier this week, with positive results being reported across most of the sector. RN was at the official launch, where a panel of research and retail experts discussed the findings. Here is a snapshot of what they had to say…

IGD chief economist James Walton on the convenience sector as a whole:

“The report shows a sector which is in incredibly good health and which is moving very, very fast.”

… and on the evolution of ranging in convenience stores:

“Certainly two categories that have emerged within the last year are chilled and fresh products and food to go. The reason for that, I think, is the intervention of supermarkets into the sector. It’s a competitive response.”

him! research director Blake Gladman on competing with multiples:

 “There is a real opportunity for independent stores and symbols to maximise on the idea of being local. It’s emphasising that difference between what is a local store and what is a faceless supermarket.”

ACS head of communications Chris Noice on what retailers can learn from the report:

“Our customers are now coming in for everything. Local stores are well placed to become the destination for everything a customer needs.”

Nisa chief executive Neil Turton on the future of symbol groups:

“Symbols shouldn’t get too pleased with themselves. They spend a lot of time competing with each other but they should focus more on being customer focused. The experience a shopper gets in the store is what will keep them returning.”

Download the report here