Associated Food Stores continued its tradition of hosting regional gatherings, called Retailer Connection meetings across AFS’ service area. Over the past six weeks, meetings took place in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado, fostering discussions on diverse topics and presentations. 

The meetings provide important opportunities for AFS members and AFS leaders to further align their purpose and objectives. Retailers in each meeting provided background on their businesses and talked about ways they are progressing, differentiating and driving additional innovation. 

David Rice, president and CEO, emphasizes the significance of these gatherings for communication with member owners. “The time we have to listen to ideas and answer questions from retailers is critical to our efforts to continually improve,” said Dave. These meetings, Dave’s second as CEO, provide a valuable opportunity to engage with numerous member owners, and he and other company leaders plan to leverage the insights gathered to enhance AFS operations. 

Retailers actively participate in the meetings, posing questions and engaging directly with company leaders on issues like driving retail sales, exploring technology opportunities, talent recruitment and retention, centralized production, warehouse modernization, and supply updates. 

Retailers learned about the company’s financial outlook, the reorganization of AFS as a limited liability company (LLC), the latest on Project ROAR, the growth of the AFS system, electronic shelf labels, digital marketing opportunities and more.

“The insight each of these members provides in the meetings is extremely valuable,” notes Dave. “Retailers share advice and suggestions that contribute to the progress of our unified team.”  

Beyond the live discussions, AFS is creating a dedicated Retailer Connection summary page on StoreLink. This online resource will offer brief, insightful videos covering the crucial retail-focused subjects and provide additional information for retailers unable to attend in person.  

The synergy of these gatherings contributes to a stronger, more informed AFS community, facilitating continuous improvement and innovation.