Interview: Jeff Rogut – CEO at AACS – Convenience Industry

The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has been around since 1990, representing the interests of Australian convenience stores. The AACS board is focused on representing the channel to the government and general public on important matters in the industry.  

Independent Service Station Operators are generally not aware of how much work AACS undertake behind the scenes, representing the industry. Jeff Rogut has been the CEO at AACS for over six years, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Retail and the Petrol and Convenience Industry.

Jeff is a regular spokesperson in the media (print, radio, TV), both locally and overseas, on issues affecting retail and particularly the convenience industry. To find out more, we recently caught up with Jeff to discuss his journey in retail and how he ended up becoming the CEO of AACS.

You must have seen a lot of changes over the years. Where did it all start?

I have been involved in the convenience industry since the late 80’s. My first taste of the Petrol and Convenience Industry was as a 7-Eleven Franchisee in Melbourne. Since then, I have found the industry to be one that is very exciting. Before becoming involved with AACS I had over 30 years’ hands-on experience in the Retail Industry from retailer and supplier perspectives.

My career so far has provided management and leadership opportunities and exposure to a great number of companies across the Retail and Supply Industries, both locally and overseas. This has allowed me to identify those areas which add value and are able to be successfully developed for business success.

It must be very rewarding after having all those years of hands-on experience to now be able to help other retailers. What areas did you enjoy and specialise in?

My areas of experience are in retail marketing, buying, negotiating, merchandising and leadership.

Which companies have you worked in?

Before joining AACS, I had roles with Shell Australia, Target, 7-Eleven Australia, Campbell’s Cash & Carry, Mitre 10 and FoodWorks.

You have definitely seen retail from a lot of different perspectives. Are there any other areas of focus you enjoy?

Education is an important area and is a big part of what we do at AACS. I was previously the Executive Director of The Australian Centre for Retail Studies at Monash University.  At AACS, we offer local and overseas study tours, summits and conduct research etc to encourage retailers and suppliers to learn from other retailers, not just those in the convenience channel. The goal is for retailers and suppliers to bring new ideas and concepts to their businesses to better serve their customers.

ServoPro is all about helping the independent operators in our industry. How does AACS help Independent Service Station Operators in Australia?

AACS has a weekly eNewsletter where we provide insights on trends and developments in our industry and from around the world. We also conduct study tours, both locally and overseas, to highlight examples of retailers doing great things that we can learn from. We provide training, conduct summits where retailers and suppliers come together to discuss our industry and learn about important new trends and developments.

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