CSNA Conference calls for innovation and planning in retail industry

Thomas Ennis was one of the keynote speakers at the CSNA Conference 2017
Thomas Ennis was one of the keynote speakers at the CSNA Conference 2017

A strong lineup delivered a packed auditorium plenty to think about for the retailers in attendance at the at the CSNA Conference at Clontarf Castle.

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2 June 2017 | 0

Dermot Griffin of Premier Lotteries opened the 2017 CSNA conference this week with the clear message that innovation and planning is key to driving sales. The Lottery operator is targeting massive growth to €1billion at retail by 2020. Griffin urged retailers to use the new lottery information dashboard, which is available to retailers in app format on their mobile phones, to review their own sales and manage their lottery business better.
Rumours of the death of the Irish Newspaper industry were proven entirely incorrect by INM managing director and former Tesco and Lidl executive Robert Pitt. He emphasised that quality editorial will continue to drive sales in the Irish newspaper category.

Martin Kelleher told the conference that harnessing new technology is key to driving sales in the coming years

Next on the bill was Martin Kelleher, managing director of Supervalu Centra. Kelleher demonstrated how his business is staying ahead of the curve with a strong culture of innovation, and by playing close attention to key future technologies. His “Dark Stores” reference was about the Amazon Go project which will allow consumers to visit stores with no employees and to use a combination of in-store technology and a payment confirmation app on their phone to take product from the shelf and walk out of the store with no scanning or other time consuming interractions.

Thomas Ennis (main image) won the retailers over with a wide ranging presentation that brought the audience along his personal business journey to his current position running three delis, seven spars, three Maxol forecourts and a post office.

“I don’t like paying the middle man,” Ennis said with regard to his fresh food offering, “I like all the margin for my business.”
Ennis said he believes that margin awareness and listening to customers are key success factors in any retail business.
The CSNA conference concluded later that evening with a gala dinner for delegates and retailers from across Ireland. The keynote speaker was entrepreneur Ray Coyle, who recalled his journey from struggling farmer in the 1980s to the ambitious owner of the much-loved Tayto Park theme park and zoo.

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