2024 Burning Issues Exchange Topics

The Burning Issues Exchange is an open dialogue with your industry peers around a pre-defined topic. All event attendees, including sponsors, are encouraged to select the topic that best suits their role/goals. This is your opportunity to share your experience and also raise questions you may have to a small group of your peers.   

The discussion host is there to help ensure the conversation stays lively and doesn’t run over time! 

Salon’s G – J are located on the far side of general session ballroom. Access via the corridor to the left of JLL and BandyWorks sponsor tables. 

MtgRm 8 – 11 are located one level up from the conference ballroom. Accessible via the elevator near registration or stairs across the lobby bridge. 

Please look for event staff and directional signage for additional support in finding your meeting room. 

Click to expand the topics listed below for room assignment and details

Location: Salon G
Host: Tony Woodward, McLane

While foodservice has been top-of-mind for many operators recently, the center store and other shelved offers still garner most inside sales. These offers cannot fall out of focus and partnering with your suppliers can inject new energy into how you drive business inside. What are the best practices, what should you expect from your suppliers, and how do you get more supplier attention in the categories you need most?

Location: Salon H
Host: Jeff Carpenter, Cliff’s Local Market

Retailers of all sizes across the country have closed stores or have at least altered their offers in attempts to fight a rise in crime. What can convenience retailers do to improve the safety of their inventory, staff, and facilities before it’s too late?

Location: Salon I (eye)
Host: Allison Dean, NAG

The use of single use plastics was on a downward trend when the covid-19 pandemic reversed years of progress. While many plastic-based precautions have waned, supply chain demands and customer preferences have changed. How and why does sustainability fit in to your strategic goals for 2024 and beyond – or not?

Location: Salon J
Host: Kevin McIntyre, CSD

PMQ Pizza is a trade publication owned by WTWH Media, the parent company of NAG / CStore Decisions. For 2023, the editorial team from CStore Decisions and PMQ Pizza collaborate to offer insights from pizza in convenience for the first time. Click here to access the 2024 Pizza Power Report. What does this industry data mean to you and how can it help grow your pizza sales? 

Location: Meeting Room 8
Host: Erin Del Conte, CSD

When interest rates were low and investors had money to burn with low risk, the convenience industry saw an influx of CBD products knocking on the door. The flood of CBD products may be plateauing while the legalization of THC products gains momentum around the country. Can your current CBD and OTP offering win and retain customers most likely to purchase THC from you when the time comes? What can you do to ensure it does? With the flavor bans and FDA oversight, how do vape products fit into the backbar today and in the future? 

Location: Meeting Room 9
Host: Emmy Boes, CSD

Convenience stores have often been celebrated as a pillar in their communities, have prominent real estate locations, and offer a wide variety of products and services. But, when you are looking for ways to connect with your patrons or to diversify your offers, pairing up with another business/ entrepreneur may be the solution you’re looking for. Thinking outside the box on new partnerships can reveal unique ways to monetize un-used corners of your lot. Have you hosted/considered hosting a community pop-up, fresh farmer stand, or other small business owners (potentially willing to pay rent for a spot) on your turf?

Location: Meeting Room 10
Host: Matt Sargent, NexChapter

Are you a fuel stop with food? A food stop with fuel? Do you offer delivery or curb-side pick up through a 3rd party app? Are you SEO optimized? Do you really know what is bringing each customer through your doors – and does it matter? Harnessing customer data through loyalty can make all the difference as you continue to re-win your customers every day. 

Location: Meeting Room 11
Host: Bruce Reinstein, Kinetic 12

Foodservice execution continues to be an important factor in the decision a potential customer makes as to where they will go to spend their hard-earned dollars. The transient consumer will continue to look solely at convenience to drive their decision, but there remains a great opportunity to maximize revenue for today’s local consumer that wants to frequent the same location for their basic needs, but also engage in making foodservice purchases part of their routine. There is a great opportunity for Convenience Store operators to drive additional sales and build great consumer loyalty. What changes have you made to your foodservice plan in the last year? What tools do you use to gauge consumer expectations, satisfaction? How often do you evaluate your foodservice plan?