A Global SOI

NACS pact with U.K. firm to expand international data

ALEXANDRIA, Va., and LONDON -- NACS, the association for convenience and petroleum retailing, and London-based consulting firm H.I.M. announced an agreement that makes H.I.M. the U.K. global partner for NACS State of the Industry (SOI) data initiatives in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

In 1971, NACS introduced a suite of State of the Industry products analyzing the U.S. market, including the annual State of the Industry report and Fact Book CD-ROM. The numbers are considered to be the industry's most comprehensive data source. NACS' Global State [image-nocss] of the Industry (GSOI) report was launched in 2003 and contains benchmarking and market data for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. The NACS/H.I.M. alliance will significantly enhance the breath and depth of the U.K. industry data reported in the GSOI.

The United Kingdom and Ireland State of the Industry products will incorporate H.I.M.'s Convenience Tracking Program (CTP), which provides benchmarking between operators to identify best-in-class performances across the 30 leading retailers, and has become the common language for capturing customer shopping feedback. H.I.M. tracks shoppers and shopping at all the major retailers (independent and major chains) in the United Kingdom, annually speaking face to face with over 40,000 convenience shoppers while they are shopping in these stores per year.

The agreement with H.I.M. further expands the NACS Global Partner Program. Last August, NACS announced a partnership with U.K.-based industry research, event and retail publishing firm Insight Research to communicate and host industry-specific events, as well as report on regional issues and best practices.

We are excited about the continuing expansion of the NACS Global Partner Program, which allows us to bring together international convenience and petroleum retailing leaders to foster and leverage relationships across various regions of the world, said NACS president and CEO Hank Armour. These partnerships help our industry develop valuable marketing opportunities, best practices, regional issues and strategies for capturing new customers.

As chairman of the [U.K.'s] Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and CEO of H.I.M., I have been aware of and involved with NACS for many years, said Mike Greene. I have great respect for the association and am excited about the learnings that can come from working more closely to share data and best practice ideas and passing on these insights to our respective members around the world.

NACS is an international trade association representing more than 2,200 retail and 1,800 supplier member companies in 33 countries. The U.S. convenience store industry, with over 145,000 stores across the country, posted $495.3 billion in total sales in 2005, with $344.2 billion in motor fuels sales.

For 40 years, H.I.M. has been listening to customers at the moment-of-truth to help retailers, suppliers, distributors and service providers increase sales and profits. It has conducted interviews with more than 15 million customers in the act of shopping, across many retail channels. Its clients include dozens of top convenience chains, small-format supermarket chains, forecourt chains, wholesalers, manufacturers, service providers, off-license chains and independent groups throughout Europe.