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Why is NACS So Important?

“If you can’t imitate them, don’t copy them” ~yogi Berra

I love this quote to introduce why the National Association of Convenience Stores or NACS convention is so important.  NACS is the one show across the CPG landscape that brings the industry together with the backdrop of so many new items and technologies that support retail.  NACS is held every year in early October and rotates between Las Vegas, Chicago and Atlanta.  This year it’s in Las Vegas from October 1-4.  NACS is THE place to see who is innovating and who is copying. 

Official 2022 Shelf Negotiation Kick off

In addition to see next year’s product innovation, NACS is the unofficial kick off for 2022 shelf space negotiations.  Traditionally at NACS, brands showcase their 2022 plans and Retailers get a full-on view of the industry.  After NACS, Retailers and Brands invest October, November and early December negotiating a final planogram that is executed in the spring.  Lead times are a little longer for larger brands like Pepsi or Coke where strategic meetings are held before NACS, however, final planograms and space allocations are still up for grabs if a Retailer sees something cool at NACS.

Beyond the shelf, NACS showcases all of the tools needed to execute plans.  Everything from AI Solutions to outdoor signage.  You can even see the next generation of gas pumps, payment systems and security solutions.  Brands network with Brands, Retailers network with brand and Solution Providers network with everyone

Business "NOT" as Usual

2022 has been quite a year.  COVID lock down impacts have evolved into unprecedented industry dynamics with inflation, supply chain issues, great resignation, and crazy demand.  And have you been to an airport lately?  Where is everyone going?

Retail has never looked so disheveled.  Ecomm doesn’t look that great either with package delivery getting impacted by many of the same dynamics.  Do we really expect shopping behavior, consumer trends, and overall operations to return to “normal”?  Doubtful.  Business is “Not” as usual and, if we are being honest with ourselves, disruption is here to stay.   

NACS is the CPG Industry's Water Cooler

Maybe even water cooler conversations are a thing of the past!   In any event, NACS is where the industry- the CPG industry- comes to meet and try to find new ways to work through these ongoing disruptions to retail.  Although, the association says Convenience Stores, what impacts 7-Eleven, Quicktrip and Wawa, impacts Walmart, Target and Kroger.  Out of Stocks, Planogram Compliance, and store service.   Technology being deployed across convenience has application across many channels of trade.  The products that attract shoppers in a grab and go environment will soon become the category drivers in the future.

In the end, problems are solved together.  The brightest minds in the CPG industry will converge on Las Vegas to collaborate, expand their network and generate the next solutions to move the CPG industry forward.  As many of us are just getting reunited with our industry colleagues after a long couple of years, NACS becomes even more important!

Expand your network and generate new ideas to solve problems within bricks and mortar retail with the team from Vision Group at booth 5776

For more information on AI- Image Recognition, visit maxerience.com or contact Jason DeRienzo at Jason.derienzo@maxerience.com.

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