Revitalised and ready for a record number of visitors, the CRS is a unique and impressive window on the world of convenience retailing Everything for the efficient running of a c-store business can be found at the Convenience Retailing Show 2002 which takes place at Birmingham's NEC from March 17-20. The four-day show is the UK's only independent event dedicated to the convenience sector. Its new owner William Reed Exhibitions ­ part of the group which publishes The Grocer ­ has revitalised the show and, for the second year running, has formed a unique partnership with the Association of Convenience Stores to provide the leading, national show for the convenience store sector. The ACS holds its annual conference on Tuesday, March 19 ­ the third day of the show ­ at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. It will explore the theme, Convenience ­ the world is not enough, in four business sessions and also launch its new website ­ ­ which it hopes will become the focal point of online neighbourhood retailing. The reshaped CRS provides a one-stop shop for c-store operators to source new products, seek out fresh suppliers and catch up on the latest business developments. William Reed's focused marketing has succeeded in attracting record numbers of visitors and exhibitors. Last year exhibitor participation increased by 20%, matched by a 29% uplift in visitors, with a significant increase in attendance from senior executives who had buying responsibility. This year William Reed confidently expects to exceed this performance. It has lined up a formidable array of top name exhibitors, among them Cadbury Trebor Bassett, Britvic Soft Drinks, Coca-Cola, Gallaher, GlaxoSmithKline, Guinness, Imperial Tobacco, Mars, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and United Biscuits. As well as showing their latest products and developments, these leading companies will be offering c-store operators sound business advice on ranging, merchandising and other category initiatives to boost sales. Practical advice on improving business will be available through two show features ­ The Virtual Store and The Platform. l The Virtual Store will feature a 15-minute 3-D video packed with ideas on how to make the most effective and profitable use of every square foot of c-store space at minimal cost. The video's star is Max Profit, an interplanetary virtual retailer, whose advice ranges from finding a profitable point of difference in store, to transforming a shop's upper floors into a family home. All the ideas are real life examples of best practice and have been shot on location in independent stores across the country. l The Platform, the show's centrepiece, is a four day programme of information-packed presentations on key subjects that concern a c-store business. Six sessions will run daily: three looking at marketing issues, two on the future of convenience retailing, and one on staffing. Each will have a similar format ­ a 20-minute presentation, followed by a case study and a question and answer session. The ACS is chairing two sessions each day, with ACS chairman Mike Green speaking on the future of convenience. Other speakers include Gallaher trade communication manager Jeremy Blackburn, Bass Take Home sales director Tony Gibbons, and Camelot channel marketing manager Hugh Arnott. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}