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    ACS, Mondelēz celebrate International Women’s Day

    The Association of Convenience Stores’ Women’s Independent Retailer Network (WIRN) came together at Mondelēz International in Bournville on 8 March to celebrate International Women’s Day.

    The event marked three years of the WIRN, a group started by Sarah C Johnson, Head of Retailer Engagement at ACS, to bring together women from within the independent convenience store sector, to network, grow relationships, and support one another through shared experiences and professional growth. Sarah spoke at the event of her inspiration setting up the group along with independent retailers Susan Connolly, Josie Chamberlin and Sunita Aggarwal and her pride in how the group has grown in both numbers and the awareness within the retailing community.

    “One of the most important things I have done was set up the Women’s Independent Retailer Network, which brings together women from across the sector to support each other, both in their businesses but also in their personal lives,” said Sarah. “Due to the support that they have been given by the other women in the group they have grown much more confident and are now being seen by the wider sector. They are in supplier expert groups, being interviewed for trade press and not just attending events but being part of them as panellist and speakers. Bringing them together on International Women’s Day on Friday was a great way to celebrate the day and spend it with some truly inspiring women. “

    Susan Connolly of Connolly Spar spoke of the value the WIRN recognising some of the remarkable achievements made by many women within the group in their professional developments, all whilst creating strong supportive relationships along the way.  

    The celebration was kindly hosted by Mondelēz International in Bournville, with Susan Nash, Communication Manager at Mondelēz International stating, “The event was a privilege to host on International Women’s Day at Mondelēz ‘s Bournville site, as Cadbury marks its 200th Year. It was a fantastic opportunity for Mondelez to help contribute to some personal development topics and play our part in helping the women in retail group. The group has made fantastic progress since starting 3 years ago which Mondelez are delighted to be able to help and support.”

    The group was given a history of Cadbury as part of the day’s activity including a tour of the newly opened Archive, highlighting the nostalgic role of Cadbury brand in convenience retail, as The Cadbury brand marks it’s 200-year anniversary this year.

    The afternoon featured roundtable discussions focusing on key topics the group wanted additional support with including social media, working and family life, confidence, and people management.

    Suzanne Greenwell, Business Unit Controller at Molson Coors led the session on Confidence, saying: “It was an absolute pleasure and privilege being part of this amazing group of inspirational women. Facilitating an environment to allow everyone to openly sharing their personal stories to aid others to build their own self confidence. We were able to share and support with hints and tips to add to their confidence toolkit and Molson Coors look forward to continuing to help & get involved with future discussion topics.”

    Alongside the day’s activities, Sarah was joined on ACS’s Local Shops Podcast with independent retailers Sunita Aggarwal and Charlotte Dant. Listen to the podcast here.

    If you are an independent convenience store or forecourt retailer and would be interested in joining the ACS WIRN, please contact Sarah C Johnson on [email protected]

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