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WCSA at Host Milano looks for ways of taking up challenges to come

MILAN – WCSA, which stands for the Western Convenience Store Association, is one of the Canadian associations that have signed an agreement with HostMilano: a way of getting a larger number of high-profile professional visitors from a part of the world with considerable growth potential to come to the forthcoming edition.

The association brings together 6,000 convenience stores, which generate annual sales of ten billion Canadian dollars (6.8 billion euros). The channel, which is made up of 23,000 sales outlets, is showing a growing interest in food processing technology, in coffee and in formats and design contracts. We asked president Andrew Klukas to give us an idea of his sense of what the partnership means.

“HostMilano presents a unique new path for Western Canadian retailers to unlock more of the potential for growth. As food service is one of the keys to growth, the opportunity to learn from the latest trends in Italy is not one to be missed. As an association we are pleased to be able to make this opportunity more accessible to our members.”

What is your project for HostMilano 2017?

Our research confirms that in order to expand the industry’s consumer base, we need to appeal to new demographics, in particular female consumers. This includes ensuring that our stores are attractive and that they offer what these consumers want. HostMilano fits nicely into the overall focus of this research and may yield information that we as an association can help retailers put into practice. The retailer representatives joining us will be looking for roughly the same things as we are: new ways to support continuing growth and to fulfil the needs of a growing consumer base.

What do you expect from your visit?

I expect to meet people with fresh perspectives on the challenges and opportunities retailers in Canada face and to find inspiration for the association’s efforts to strengthen the industry in Canada.