Independent retailers can find out how to take the fight to the multiples at next year’s ACS Summit.

The Summit, which takes place on 27 March 2012 alongside the National Convenience Show in Birmingham, will advise convenience retailers on how to use their natural advantages to gain a competitive upper hand.

Speakers already lined up for the event, which will tackle the key areas of sustainability, community, people and technology, include new Spar UK MD Debbie Robinson, legendary retailer Gerald Ratner, and historian, author and futurologist James Bellini.

It will also feature a ‘road trip’ along the length and breadth of Britain of top-performing retailers undertaken by indie Rav Garcha.

The ACS was not about to let the multiples have it all their own way, said CEO James Lowman. “In the 1990s recession, the mults bolstered their out-of-town presence at a time when land was cheap and government keen to encourage development,” he said. “This time they’re using their deep pockets to drive towards domination in all formats at the cost of the convenience retailer. We’re focusing our members’ minds on strategies proven to out-compete them.”