WCSA announces affiliation of five retail associations
On September 7 2012 The Western Convenience Stores Association signed an Affiliation Agreement with four other Canadian convenience store associations, thereby creating a common voice for convenience store retailers in Canada. The affiliation now includes the following organizations:
- The Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA)
- Assn Québecoise des Dépanneurs en Alimentation (AQDA)
- Atlantic Convenience Stores Association (ACSA)
- Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA)
- Western Convenience Stores Association (WCSA)
As well, the National Convenience Stores Distributors Association have announced their intention to enter into an affiliation agreement with the CCSA on September 10, 2012.
“These affiliations will allow our associations to better represent the convenience store industry in Canada and to improve the business environment for the sake of all stakeholders including retailers, vendors / suppliers and distributors” says CCSA President Alex Scholten. “By consolidating the skills and experiences of each of these organizations, we will create one very strong, unified voice to represent the industry across the country. Our potential to become a champion for the industry is enormous.“
Four Regions, One Voice
Affiliation under the Canadian Convenience Stores Association has already improved the level of coordination among the regions’ activities. For the first time the entire industry has begun to speak with one voice on issues of national scope. At the same time, the regions maintain the autonomy to attend to specific regional issues.
The affiliation establishes a more effective forum for retailers to discuss issues, share concerns and receive information and education with respect to the Canadian convenience store industry. Together, the associations can better promote and foster professional business practices, standards and ethics throughout the Industry.
And best of all, the affiliation better enables the industry to work with other professional organizations around the world on common convenience store related issues.
All parts of the industry are now working together
The purpose of the affiliation is to ensure an economically viable and sustainable business climate for all parts of the convenience store industry in Canada. We will achieve this by serving the best interests of our retailer, supplier and distributor members through advocacy, advice, education and training.
The CCSA has established a government relations committee in order to participate in the myriad of public policy decisions that impact convenience store retailers across Canada and, by extension, the various products and services sold in our stores.
Supplier members now have the unique opportunity to participate on the CCSA government relations committee and support the work of the associations by providing direction in prioritizing policy issues and by helping to review and develop strategies to promote the health and vitality of the convenience retail sector as a whole.
A wide array of tools are at the disposal of the committee to promote the industry’s positions on issues, including:
- In-store media relations
- Retailer media training and engagement
- National, provincial and electoral riding meetings with politicians
- Press conferences and public awareness events
- Research and industry-data publications and references
- Industry strategy planning sessions.
“By working together as an industry and utilizing the assets available to us, we will create an organization that can effectively voice its collective concerns. Having industry information and data available for our partners to use in their operations and government relations efforts – information not previously available in Canada – will also greatly benefit our efforts.” says Scholten.