Checkout Conference 2016: Think. Learn. Evolve...

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Checkout Conference 2016: Think. Learn. Evolve...

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

The Checkout Conference is the longest-running dedicated conference for the grocery retail and FMCG industries in Ireland.


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 open to businesses as we look ahead to the challenges of a new financial year.


Click here to download a conference brochure


Checkout is delighted to announce that broadcaster and journalist Matt Cooper will host the 2016 Checkout Conference.

Matt Cooper is a broadcaster, newspaper columnist and best-selling author, and a regular host/chairman at business conferences and sports events. He presents and edits the daily news, current affairs and sports programme The Last Word on Today FM.

Cooper is a former editor of The Sunday Tribune, having been appointed at the age of 30 in 1996. He left for a career in radio in 2003 but continues to write a leader page column for the Irish Daily Mail each Wednesday. He was twice national journalist of the year and twice business journalist of the year.


He has just published his third book, The Maximalist, a biography of the iconic Irish sporting, business and media figure Tony O’Reilly. His first book, Who Really Runs Ireland, was published in 2009 and was a number one bestseller. His second book, How Ireland Really Went Bust, was published in 2011 and was the overall third highest selling Irish non-fiction book that year.




8am - Registration

8.55am - Introduction by Matt Cooper


9.05am - Julian Baldwin, Sales Effectiveness Director, Nielsen UK & Ireland
Julian Baldwin has worked with Nielsen since 2010, previously leading Client Service and Business Development, launching new products for category and sales teams at Nielsen clients and building innovative partnerships with third parties to help clients grow. He currently holds the position of Sales Effectiveness Director at Nielsen UK & Ireland. In his presentation at the Checkout Conference, Julian will examine why customer engagement should be at the forefront of retailer’s mindsets as we head into 2016.

9.35am - Maggie Timoney, Managing Director, Heineken Ireland
Maggie Timoney has held the role of Managing Director at Heineken Ireland since 2013. A seventeen-year veteran at Heineken, Maggie previously served as Chief People Officer at Heineken USA (since 2010), during a period that saw a significant turnaround in its business. Maggie previously fulfilled a range of leadership roles for Heineken in the Netherlands (2001-2006) and in the US. At the Checkout Conference, Maggie will explore why brands need to communicate added-value credentials, even in a promotion-heavy market.

10.05am - Andrew Yaxley, Chief Executive, Tesco Ireland
Andrew Yaxley was appointed chief executive of Tesco Ireland in March 2015. He joined Tesco in 2001 and prior to his arrival to these shores, he held the position of managing director of Tesco’s London business. Prior to that, he held a number of positions in the commercial functions at Tesco, as a member of the UK leadership team, as well as commercial operations in Slovakia and Czech Republic before that. With Tesco now in a period of transition, Yaxley will outline how the business is developing winning concepts that will help it build a more profitable future.

10.35am - Philip Benton, Senior Research Analyst, Services & Payments, Euromonitor International
Philip Benton is a Research Analyst covering the UK and Ireland FMCG markets at Euromonitor International. Philip joined Euromonitor in June 2013 and is responsible for monitoring key industry trends and issues within the UK. He also writes comment pieces, reports and analysis, which provide detailed insight into key drivers, trends and the state of FMCG industries within the UK. In his presentation, ‘Coming of Age: Grocery Retailing in 2016 and Beyond’, Philip will explore how the new, digitally-enhanced environment is changing the way we shop.

11.00am - Coffee Break Sponsored by Clear Channel



11.30am - John Callan, Country Manager, dunnhumby
John Callan joined dunnhumby in 2008, heading up the group’s Client Management business in Ireland. Since then, he has successfully set up the Tesco media @ dunnhumby platform, as well as launching numerous new insight solutions and capabilities in the market. In his presentation at the Checkout Conference, ‘The Forces and Trends Shaping Consumer Behaviour’, Callan will examine why consumers are increasingly demanding simple, ‘frictionless’ solutions from retailers and brands, and what this means for brand development.

12.00pm - Simon Twigger, Trading Director, Poundland
Simon Twigger joined Poundland as Trading Director in September 2015. He joined from J Sainsbury plc, where his previous role was Managing Director of Sainsburys Local Stores. Prior to this, he held senior roles in trading at Sainsburys and Safeway plc. Including sales roles at FMCG suppliers, he has over 25 years’ experience in grocery retailing. He is also a trustee of the IGD and Grocery Aid. Poundland is the UK-based parent of the Dealz retail chain, which recently opened its 50th outlet in Ireland, on Thomas Street in Dublin.

12.30pm - Tom Keogh, Managing Director, Keogh’s
In November, Tom Keogh was named Marketer of the Year by, concluding a phenomenal year for both he and his brand. Keogh has been the driving force behind the creation of the Keogh’s ‘Grown with Love’ potato brand - giving new impetus to what could be considered an Irish staple - and its extension into the gourmet crisps market. At the Checkout Conference, he will share his insight and plans for future brand growth. A must-see for small business owners.

1.00pm – Lunch in Fire Restaurant


2.30pm - Tom Fender, Director, him! international
Tom Fender, managing director of him! International, the ‘authority on convenience shopping’, will be hosting a very special presentation at the 2016 Checkout Conference, examining why the Irish convenience sector deserves to be considered the ‘best in the world’, featuring input from key players in the Irish c-store and forecourt industries. This not-to-be-missed segment will offer a detailed analysis of consumer attitudes to convenience retailing in Ireland and overseas and what needs to be put in place to maintain growth into the future.

3.10pm - Jim Power, Economist, Jim Power Economics Ltd
Jim Power is owner manager of Jim Power Economics Limited, an economic and financial consultancy. In 2013, he co-founded CJP Consultants with Economist Chris Johns. He is also economic advisor to the Friends First Group and was previously Treasury Economist at AIB (1987-1991) and Chief Economist at Bank of Ireland Group Treasury (1991-2000). With the 2016 General Election looming, his presentation will examine the impact that the current administration has had on Irish business, and what Government should do to foster future growth.

3.45 pm - Conference Ends

Click here to download a conference brochure


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


To secure your place at the must-attend retail event of the year, contact Colette O'Brien at 01 2365 823 or email [email protected]

Tickets are priced at €325 + VAT per ticket, inclusive of three-course lunch in Fire Restaurant. Discounts available for multiple bookings.

Alternatively, tickets are available to purchase online through our trusted ticket sales partner, Eventbrite.


For further details, contact [email protected]


Tom Fender, managing director of him! International, the 'authority on convenience shopping', will be hosting a very special presentation at the 2016 Checkout Conference, examining why the Irish convenience sector deserves to be considered the 'best in the world', featuring input from key players in the Irish c-store and forecourt industries.

This not-to-be-missed segment will offer a detailed analysis of consumer attitudes to convenience retailing in Ireland and overseas, the secrets of successful convenience retailing, and what needs to be put in place maintain growth into the future.

In addition, this segment will be featuring input from some of Ireland's top convenience retailers, offering their thoughts on what makes the sector here so vibrant.

For further details, contact [email protected]


A number of sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2016 Checkout Conference. For further information, contact the Checkout sales team at:

Dani Sinnott, 01 2365 821, [email protected]
Pat Murray, 01 2365 828, [email protected]
Adrian Murphy, 01 2365 830, [email protected]

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