Conexxus In the News

Retail thought leaders—Clifton Dillman (Family Express), Erika Dykstra (formerly Jacksons) and Donnie Rhoads (The Convenience Group)—recently came together at Conexxus’ Think Tank v8.0 to explore several topics that have been on each of their minds. Their perspectives revealed insights into technology’s challenges and the opportunities they see for their businesses.

The two-day event gathered industry professionals from around the world to discuss technology trends impacting the convenience and mobility sectors.

Since the rise to fame of ChatGPT the issue of AI has become part of the mainstream conversation. For years, the service station industry has looked at ways of using AI to improve strategic decision-making and daily operations. A panel formed by Gray Taylor (Conexxus), Frodi Hammer (A2i Systems) and Fernando Carrasco (Locatium) highlighted how AI can help retailers choose the right location for a site, develop a pricing strategy, and decide where to place products inside a store. 

Most organizations will struggle with innovation. Conexxus provides convenience retailers with the tools they need to develop their own technology road map and plan for the industry’s future. Listen to the full NACS Convenience Matters podcast: The Future Is Here: Exploring Strategic Innovation – Episode 395

“Conexxus do a lot of work creating standards for the industry. What were your big takeaways from the event?” There was a major focus on innovation – how should a company organise itself and think in order to be innovative? Retailers were talking about trying to be innovative. And it's hard because it’s so resource intensive. You must structure your business around becoming innovative. That's were Conexxus plays a role with standards. If everyone followed them, it would be far easier to plug and play components. It would allow you to pilot and test much faster than today. Innovation doesn't necessarily come from retailers; it will always come from the market. If you want to be disruptive, you have to spend time and resources listening to your customers. The customer is still the king. 

Global standards benefit retailers no matter where they do business. “Even retailers doing business in one country benefit from global standards,” said Ian Brown, API strategy manager, IFSF. “Suppliers can implement one standard no matter the country of use which mean resources are freed from doing multiple developments for the same functionality.”

Beginning on day two and through the remainder of the conference, these committees and working groups will meet to finalize or continue to work in current projects and prioritize future projects.

In the education session “Self-Checkout: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” panelists from four leading convenience retailers—Coen Markets, Friendly Express, Parkland USA and Couche-Tard/Circle K—shared their experiences in implementing self-checkout technology in their stores, discussed the types of solutions they are using in these locations and provided insight into how this innovation changed the culture within their companies.


Conexxus kicked off its 2023 Annual Conference yesterday in Coronado, California. Through a mix of keynote speakers, education sessions and panel discussions, convenience retailers, suppliers and manufacturers heard from experts and their peers on the challenges facing the convenience industry and how innovation, adaptability and new technologies must be part of a company’s game plan.

Attendees on day one heard from two dynamic keynote speakers emphasizing how and why innovation and technology are critical to any business.

Over the past few years, convenience store retailers have ramped up their ability to have digital conversations with their customers. Now that the basics are in place for many industry players, it's time to think about the next steps.

A recent Conexxus webinar looked at ways of moving the customer experience forward.

"Most of the organizations in our industry, at least at some point in their growth, struggle with how to strategically innovate. The past few years have been a testament to this constant race, with the acceleration of technological changes amplifying across all aspects of our industry," Conexxus said.

Innovation came to life for the Conexxus Innovation Research Committee (IRC) during a recent field trip that members made to multiple sites in Austin, Texas. One of the hallmarks of the IRC is to experience what’s new for the industry firsthand.

A visit to a new TXB Store location in Georgetown, Texas, was on the list not only to taste its breakfast taco but also to see how an artificial intelligence pilot utilizing existing security camera system has progressed. Utilizing SparkCognition’s Visual AI Advisor solution, the insights from the location visit were intriguing and revealing.