Employees from Central England Co-op alongside forecourt operators Applegreen and Rontec are attending a new retail university course aimed at helping them improve the support they provide to retailers.

The Convenience Leadership Programme at the University of Surrey’s Surrey Business School was established in partnership with the Association of Convenience Stores to help students gain a better understanding of issues throughout the convenience industry. 

The nine-day retail course is spread across six months from January to June, across campuses in Surrey and the Midlands. Sugro managing director and former Nisa CEO Neil Turton conducted a guest lecture on the first day of the course last month. 

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He told betterRetailing: “There’s a dozen people registered on the course and these include those at operations levels for companies such as Rontec, Applegreen and the Co-operative societies.

“They don’t get the opportunity to attend conferences all the time, and the course is useful in educating them in areas such as convenience store margins, waste management and how the wholesale supply chain is managed.”

Course director Sabine Benoit added: “Some of the conferences the attendees go to don’t cover the convenience industry in depth. Sometimes they might cover multiple convenience, and the course gives them the opportunity to learn in a more focused way.”

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