AUR national conference Cairns 2022

The conference theme was ‘Opportunity Ahead’ with all speakers presenting on the future possibilities for grocery retailers in the Australian market.

Hosting the AUR National Conference 2022 was Tim Reid an engaging and entertaining master of ceremonies, who has been in demand over the past 11 years attending hundreds of conferences across 12 different countries.

Updates were delivered by keynote presenter AUR CEO Rick Wight who presented a network and industry update as well as key strategic priorities for 2023. Mr Wight also reflected on the past few years noting the exceptional efforts, passion, determination, and care that independent retailers have provided their local communities.

AUR Head of IT Brad Slater presented the latest technology opportunities as well as last-mile partnership solutions to retailers.
AUR Executive General Manager Merchandise Midhat Massoud launched AUR’s new Price Promise Program, offering independent retailers an edge to compete in a highly price-sensitive market without eroding margins. Mr Massoud discussed the pressures of pricing increases on consumers and detailed AUR Pricing Programs and how AUR is working to ensure independents continue to be match-fit.
Retailers also presented at the conference. FoodWorks multi-store owner Richard Rabay alongside Robert Markezic (Vic State Operations Manager) and Frank Molly (NSW State Operations Manager) walked delegates through running a sustainable deli offer.

Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour at QUT Business School Professor Gary Mortimer delivered the 10 emerging food and grocery trends, while Colin Ongley from Frontline Recruitment lead a discussion on recruitment and retention of staff. Closing out the day, Master Grocers Association lawyer Angeline Lee presented on industrial relations risks in an ever-changing market.

“It was great to have everyone back together again and to hear our retailers share their experiences and stories first-hand after the last few challenging years.”

Day two opened with Bernard Salt author of ‘The Big Shift’ and ‘The Big Picture’, who presented population and growth opportunities for the grocery industry, and AUR Marketing and Communication
Manager Renee Werner, who presented on advertising channels and the digital future.

AUR Chief Operating Officer Kym Coventry lead a retailer panel discussing retail transformation and sustainability alongside FoodWorks retailers Joe Eid, Guy Fitzgerald, and Steve Price. Hearing directly from retailers was a true highlight of the working event. Philip Morris’s Bradley Shaw presented the impact of illicit tobacco on the industry.

Todd Sampson, award-winning documentary maker and former
CEO of Leo Burnett, presented ‘Brain Power.’ Unlocking key moments from his documentary ‘Redesign My Brain’, he took delegates on a no-hold-back behind-the-series adventure, ending the business end of the conference on a high.

The celebrations commenced with the AUR Gala Awards night, which was held in the stunning Cairns Cane Field. AUR celebrated its amazing retailer’s hard work, achievements, and commitment to excellence with 41 winners in total.

On the final day, the AUR Trade Show was another highlight, with 150 suppliers showcasing their wares, and with over 400 retailers in attendance.

The AUR Trade Show highlighted the latest products and innovations
in the food retail market with a fresh showcase showing off the refrigeration and the latest shelf display options.AUR CEO Rick Wight stated that the conference was a fantastic event, and 2022 was no exception. “It was great to have everyone back together again and to hear our retailers share their experiences and stories first-hand after the last few challenging years.”

“Your independence is our point of difference”

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