The sixth annual International Convenience Retail Awards, recognizing and promoting convenience retailing excellence at the global level, were presented on June 4 at a gala event in conjunction with this week’s NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe.
This year’s honorees are:
- NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year: Rutter’s (USA)
- NACS Insight International Store Manager of the Year: Kate Walsh, Store Manager, Herlihy’s Centra Fermoy (Ireland)
- NACS Insight International Convenience Leader of the Year Alain Bouchard, President and CEO, Alimentation Couche-Tard (Canada)
In naming York, Pennsylvania-based Rutter’s as NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year, judges emphasized how Rutter’s delivers a world-class convenience store through its focus on people, technology, rewards and food. The company was also recognized for its QSR-modeled food format and quality ingredients, combined with world-class operations and best in class use of social and mobile technology.
“Rutter’s clearly recognizes that people make all the difference. Building on its heritage, it lives and breathes this every day throughout every aspect of the business,” said Ramon Kuijpers, international key accounts manager at Imperial Tobacco, whose company sponsored the award.
BP M&S Simply Food was also recognized in this award category for the revitalization of its BP M&S Simply Food offer with a new, customer-led proposition.
Launched in 2009, the Convenience Retailer of the Year award recognizes excellence in convenience and forecourt retailing on an international stage and celebrates the best convenience retail formats from around the world.
Kate Walsh, store manager of Herlihy’s Centra Fermoy in Ireland, received the 2014 NACS Insight International Store Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by TCC Global. Judges praised Walsh’s focus and management approach and her success in making Centra Fermoy a great place to work.
Walsh has worked at the Herlihy Group for more than seven years and has progressed through the ranks as grocery manager to assistant manager, then fresh food manager to her current role, which she took on in April 2013. Judges said that Walsh’s knowledge and training in the fresh food arena have given her the key skills to develop the business, complemented by her degree in human resources, which provides her valuable insight into people management and the skills to motivate and lead a team.
In addition, fellow nominee Store Manager Serena Guihen was also highly commended for her performance at Centra Moycullen, Ireland. During her tenure, store sales have grown by 43% and she has turned around a loss making business, transforming an unhappy workplace into an enthusiastic, energetic and willing team.
“What a great selection of award entrants for International Store Manager of the Year. Retail is a people business and what unites all of these entries is the fantastic, positive impact that these managers have upon their colleagues, their communities and their store,” said David Ringer, regional director, TCC Global.
Alain Bouchard, president and CEO Alimentation Couche-Tard, was selected as 2014 NACS Insight International Convenience Leader of the Year, sponsored by PepsiCo. Judges described Bouchard as a “transformational leader” and a worthy winner of the inaugural International Convenience Leader of the Year Award.
Bouchard has contributed, along with his team, to transforming the image of the convenience store in the minds of North American consumers. He has led Couche-Tard as a leader in the Canadian convenience store industry and the second largest independent convenience store operator, in terms of number of stores, in North America. Today, Couche-Tard’s convenience store network spans more than 6,200 stores in North America; 2,300 stores across Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland and Russia; and through licensing agreements, more than 4,200 stores in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
More than a businessman, Bouchard contributes to improving the quality of life of his fellow citizens through his support of social, humanitarian and cultural causes and has developed a sense of leadership that continues to inspire others.
The NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe delivers enhanced thought leadership, international best practice sharing and opportunities for extensive connections for international convenience retailers and suppliers. This year’s event took place June 1-6 in Paris and London, attracting convenience retail delegates from more than 30 countries.