Today's Group has set a target to grow retail club members over the next year from 1,600 to 2,000 and symbol stores to 500.

Managing director Bill Laird announced the plans at the Today’s annual conference in Rome and said that while the marketplace is shrinking, the convenience sector is booming.

Statistics show the c-store market has grown by 14% since 2009, with symbol groups growing 18%, while unaffiliated stores have declined by 5%.

“Wholesalers are raising their game,” said Laird.

Today’s currently has just over 400 symbol group retailers, up 14% on the previous year, despite removing members that did not meet the required standards.

Own-label was also reported to be performing particularly well for Today’s, which plans to expand its offering to between 180 – 200 lines over the next twelve months.

Other key announcements included the launch of a transactional app from Today’s largest member Musgrave.

First-time speaker Noel Keeley, managing director of the Northern Ireland-based group, said: “The new app will enable retailers to order all their usual products online using a barcode on their smart phone.”

TODAY’S PLANS

  • Today’s symbol stores grow by 14% in the past year
  • Today’s retail club membership target of 2,000
  • Plans to grow own label product numbers to up to 200 by the end of 2014
  • Largest Today’s member Musgrave announces transactional app for retailers

Orders will be delivered the next day if placed before 4pm. The app is currently being trialled with 20 retailers and will help businesses to save money by removing the cost of a hand-held scanner.

Today’s Group also launched an app, offering easy access to its events through smart phones and tablets.