Retail Intelligence


By Steve Wynne-Jones

It’s that time of year again!

The 2016 Checkout Conference takes place in The Round Room of Dublin’s Mansion House on Tuesday 2nd February, 2016.

Considered by senior management in the Irish grocery retail and FMCG sectors as the most important business event in the calendar, the Checkout Conference is acknowledged as a key networking opportunity, offering insights on the future trends shaping the industry.

For those involved in the retail sector, and those servicing it, attendance at the longest-running  dedicated Irish retail conference is a must.

About The Theme


The theme of the 2016 Checkout Conference is ‘Think. Learn. Evolve…’ The focus for the event will centre on how brands and retailers alike need to ‘evolve’ to a new way of thinking, in keeping with changed socio-economic circumstances.

We may be out of the downturn, but some of the key factors that influenced shopper behaviour remain (obsession with value, the rise of the discounters, and the growth of private label). Where is the added value going to come from, and how can brand owners position themselves for the consumer need states of the future? The 2016 Checkout Conference will examine the opportunities as we look ahead to the challenges of a new financial year.

Retail Issues

The Checkout Conference has a reputation for delivering first-class speakers, and we are delighted to welcome Andrew Yaxley, chief executive of Tesco Ireland to give an exclusive presentation at the event. Over the past 18 months, the spotlight has been shone on Tesco like never before. But Tesco is looking forward to the new year with optimism, and Yaxley will outline how the retailer is looking to move on and build a brighter future in his presentation, 'Serving Ireland’s Shoppers A Little Better Every Day'.

Staying with retail, few groups have made such an immediate impact in the Irish market as Poundland, which trades as the Dealz franchise here. Overseeing much of its growth is Poundland trading director Simon Twigger, who will be outlining the group’s strategy at the Checkout Conference.


In addition, in what is certain to be one of the highlights of the Checkout Conference, Tom Fender of him! International, one of the foremost authorities on the c-store and forecourt industries, analyses just what makes these sectors tick, and why Irish c-stores deserve to be considered among the best in the world.

A Different Approach

It’s often said in marketing circles that sometimes when the world ‘zigs’, you need to ‘zag’, and the Checkout Conference will feature two presentations from leading brands that have done just that. Heineken Ireland has cemented its position as the market leading brand in the off-trade sector by working with retailers to drive real ‘added-value’ initiatives in-store. Maggie Timoney, Heineken Ireland’s managing director, will reveal how this has been achieved, in her presentation 'Seize Our Moment'.

Also presenting at the event, Tom Keogh of Keogh’s, the recently-named ‘Marketer of the Year’, will explore how his company took the humble spud and created a brand that resonates with shoppers, not to mention a premium crisp range that is now exported to 14 different markets, in his presentation, 'Keoghs – Old Values New Future'.

Research Matters


The Checkout Conference is traditionally held up as an event that presents the latest data and insight from around the world - first - and this year is no exception.

The rise of the ‘digital native’ consumer and the implementation of technology into the retail space are among the key themes to be addressed by Philip Benton of London-based Euromonitor International, in what is certain to be a standout presentation ('Coming of Age: Grocery Retailing in 2016 and Beyond').

In addition, John Callan, country manager of dunnhumby Ireland, will examine the opportunities open to brands to develop personalised insights that tap into shopper needs, as data becomes more ingrained into the shopping experience ('The Forces and Trends Shaping Consumer Behaviour').

Julian Baldwin, sales effectiveness director at Nielsen, will look at the importance of customer engagement ('Plotting A New Course'), and why retailers should challenge the everyday ‘norms’ in their businesses, and develop added-value solutions that don’t merely borrow from what has gone before.

And lastly, economist Jim Power will be examining what could be in store for the grocery market after the forthcoming General Election, and on the back of rising consumer sentiment ('Post General Election: What Next For The Grocery Sector').


A full timetable is available here, or to secure one of the last remaining tickets, click here

About the Checkout Conference

The Checkout Conference is considered a ‘must-attend’ event for top-level executives in the trade, both due to the high calibre of speakers and its status as a premium networking opportunity.

Prominent speakers that have addressed the Checkout Conference in recent years include Fiona Dawson, President, Mars Chocolate UK; Caroline Keeling, chief executive, Keelings; Dieter Brandes, former MD, Aldi Nord; Bruce Langlands, director of food, Harrods; Chris Martin, CEO, Musgrave Group; Gordon Campbell, Managing Director, Spar International; Leo Daley, chief executive, Saatchi & Saatchi UK; Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD; Anna Malmhake, chief executive, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard and many other leading representatives from retail and FMCG.

A video review of the 2014 event can be found by visiting

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