Yesterday's ACS Summit brought together some of the most influential figures in the convenience channel – not just in the UK, but globally. Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski takes a look at how social media covered the morning session

Chief executive of the ACS, James Lowman kicked the morning off outlining the major challenges facing convenience.

The day's first speaker was Chris Gheysens boss (or self-dubbed 'Lead Goose') of American convenience store chain Wawa explained the unique culture of his business that puts customer service and the welfare of employees at its heart.

This means employing the right people. Thankfully he clarified what "needing people with goose blood" meant.

Mr Gheysen also highlighted his businesses huge success on social media (including over 1.2m Facebook likes). This success has translated into store activity with a number of customers using Wawa stores as Wedding venues.

The next speaker was Debbie Robinson, managing director of Spar. She began by starkly outlining the effects that the National Living Wage will have on the group.

She outlined why, despite this huge pressure, she thinks convenience can grow by even more than currently predicted – if stores embrace future trends.

This includes the rise of food service…

And healthy eating. She revealed that the company had been developing Holland & Barrett concessions in a number of stores. Underlining the opportunity, she said that one of the bestsellers in this new range had been coconut oil priced at a whopping £15.99.

Meanwhile, the audience voted store standards and fresh provision the two biggest weaknesses in convenience – do you agree?