Premier Broadway Convenience Store
The prospect of Aldi moving in almost literally next door is something all local retailers dread but Dennis and Linda Williams of Premier Broadway Convenience Store in Edinburgh won the top award this year for showing that, not only does it not mean the end, it can actually mean a fresh, profitable beginning. A great strategy perfectly executed has meant that, despite the discounter, year on year sales have held steady.
The top award merits the top Reward and that’s why the winner will be jetting off to Las Vegas in October for four days at NACS, the largest convenience store event in the world. With so much to learn from the trip, it should give Dennis and Linda even more ideas for the store next year.
- With Aldi moving in next door, the store focused on delivering products and solutions that Aldi couldn’t or wouldn’t: food to go, hot drinks, big brands, vaping range, Lottery, locally sourced products – and, of course, great customer service.
- Full new Premier Deli added, offering hot and cold food as well as local butchery and bakery lines.
- New coffee machine added.
- More emphasis on big brands at great value prices.
- Tobacco gantry moved to make way for range of spirits.
Being a great beer and cider retailer is all about catering for the requirements of modern shoppers – that means a great core range across all key brands and formats, well-presented and chilled, with some extra touches to bring the beer and cider aisle to life and drive sales and profits. Saleem Sadiq’s Spar Renfrew store does it all and more, with a stunning section that offers a huge range in the chiller alongside a big selection of multipacks.
What better way of celebrating becoming Beer & Cider Retailer of the Year than with a few quality beers at WEST Brewery in Glasgow and a meal for 10. The Reward includes a VIP tour of the brewery which, we are assured, will include lots of chances to sample some of WEST’s outstanding beers.
- Saleem’s large store allows him to maintain an extensive range of big brands in a number of pack formats and sizes.
- The vast majority of beers and ciders are chilled for instant consumption – even a wide selection of multipacks.
- Great use of floor stacks adds theatre and drives basket spend.
- The store’s consistent commitment to outstanding merchandising standards is evident in this category too.
- Good range of craft products to cash in on latest trends.
Staying on top of the latest trends like healthier options as well as maintaining a fantastic core range on a carefully merchandised fixture is what helped Shabaz Ali pick up the Biscuits Retailer of the Year Reward for his Redding Supermarket store in Falkirk. Shabaz pays particular attention to his shoppers, with the range tailored carefully to meet their demands while his sheer enthusiasm for the category marks him out.
A spectacular trip to Amsterdam awaits Shabaz Ali and guest as the winner of this category. They will fly to the Dutch city and will enjoy a trip to pladis’s factory in Zaandam as well as the chance to explore Amsterdam. The Reward includes flights, hotel and even spending money.
- The biscuits fixture is exceptional, covering every base and offering products in line with all of the latest category trends.
- Shabaz places a lot of importance on developing strong relationships with suppliers to their mutual benefit.
- The store doubled the size of its fixture in the last year to accommodate a bigger range including more price-marked packs and NPD.
- The store makes extensive and regular use of its Epos data to keep the category efficient and profitable.
Lifestyle Express Rutherglen
Lifestyle Express Rutherglen retailer Mukesh Baghra has gone for the ‘wow!’ factor when it comes to confectionery, with everything from a stunning main fixture to a range of secondary siting positions as well as some ideas of his own like tailor-made hampers for special occasions. Jam-packed with energy and ideas, Mukesh’s store takes confectionery to the next level and that’s reflected in his sales.
Mukesh will be able to make one of his dreams come true as Confectionery Retailer of the Year thanks to a fantastic £500 Virgin Experience voucher that will let him choose from a massive selection of adventures, from the thrilling to the downright terrifying!
- It’s hard to define but you know it when you see it: Mukesh’s confectionery offer definitely has the ‘wow’ factor.
- The store has large, comprehensive fixtures for core range, hanging bags and gum as well as dedicated promo ends and gifting sections, all for confectionery.
- Mukesh offers a tailored hamper service to his shoppers where he will hand-prepare confectionery hampers for any special occasion.
- Confectionery is the store’s best-selling category and that has been achieved through effort and creativity.
Premier Broadway Convenience Store
As befitting the Scottish Local Retailer of the Year winners, Dennis and Linda Williams also picked up the Crisps & Snacks Retailer of the Year Reward for their relentless determination to keep every category moving forward. Crisps and snacks was one of the first categories to be re-assessed when the couple knew Aldi was coming and the results speak for themselves: margins up 30% and sales up 3% (after rising 11% the year before).
This Reward isn’t for the faint hearted! The winner – will it be Dennis or will it be Linda? – will be heading up, up and away in a tiny microlight to see Scotand from an entirely new perspective. The flight will even offer the chance to take over the controls!
- Precise and tight core range covers all popular flavours and formats but avoids range proliferation. All grab bags delisted. Only £1 PMP branded packs retained.
- Good use of Booker own label products gives shoppers a value option and drives multibuys.
- Fixture carefully sited to maximise impulse sales.
- Strong secondary siting and promo ends helps drive sales of larger format packs and cross-category purchases.
- Ruthless use of Epos ensures only fast-moving lines stocked.
Spar St George’s Cross Maryhill
With sales of vaping products having levelled out in local retailing outlets, it’s time to re-energise the category by enhancing the range and ensuring staff are fully knowledgeable and able to assist shoppers who need support and advice – and that’s exactly what Iqbal Sadiq in Spar St George’s Cross Maryhill has done. The store offers products for everyone from the novice to the pro and backs that up with well-trained staff and customer leaflets.
Iqbal will have the choice of countless memorable experiences to choose from to celebrate winning the E-cigs Retailer of the Year Reward as he picks up a superb Red Letter Day.
- Iqbal’s store offers shoppers an extensive selection of vaping products and accessories from a number of leading brands.
- The store’s range provides something for every shopper, from the newly converted to the more seasoned vaper.
- The staff are well-trained and able to offer advice and support in what can be a confusing category for many shoppers.
- Strong pricing and an array of information materials means shoppers can buy vaping products in confidence from the store.
David’s Kitchen Glenrothes
David’s Kitchen was the first convenience brand in Scotland to build its entire offer around food to go, and the two stores have been providing outstanding food to go offers to their customers for years. Keith Fernie runs the original David’s Kitchen in Glenrothes, delivering a mouth-watering array of hot and cold food and drinks, all prepared fresh on the premises. Even the ready meals are cooked fresh each day and vacuum-sealed in the store.
What better way to celebrate spending your life serving fantastic, freshly prepared food to your customers than with a meal for four at a posh restaurant. Keith and three guests will have the night off serving food to enjoy one of the finest dining experiences to be had in Scotland.
- Probably the most comprehensive range of hot and cold food to go of any c-store in Scotland.
- The vast majority of the range is made fresh on the premises every day.
- Own-brand ready meals, soups, coleslaw and more, all prepared by hand and vacuum-sealed in-store.
- Dedicated seating area to allow customers to enjoy their purchases in comfort.
- Great use of locally sourced products and extremely high-quality presentation throughout.
Jet Ardeer Services
After picking up the ultimate Scottish Local Retailer of the Year Reward last year, Mahmood Saleem of Jet Ardeer Services in Stevenston has not only carried on where he left off, he’s even managed to take his already breath-taking store up another gear with the addition of yet more services including an external washing machine solution. The forecourt remains miles ahead of the game and the commitment to excellence is inspirational.
The Forecourt Retailer of the Year deserves a little work-related fun in his life, so tearing around a race track in the legendary Ferrari F430 Coupe should do the trick. Mahmood will get the chance to push the car to its limits as well as enjoying a passenger ride with a pro driver.
- A stunning forecourt visible from a distance that uses big brands like Nisa, Costa and Subway to give passing motorists countless reasons to stop.
- The high standards set at the store’s opening have been maintained and even improved in the last 12 months.
- New exterior washing machine adds yet another reason for shoppers to visit – twice!
- Excellent convenience range in-store means the forecourt is used as often for shopping as it is for fuel.
- Superb standards throughout.
Penny Petroleum, Jet Kirkmuirhill
One of the secrets of getting fresh and chilled right in-store is to give it 100% and that’s exactly what Penny Petroleum Jet has done in Kirkmuirhill. Fresh produce presented in rustic style baskets is the first thing shoppers see when they cross the door, while a huge chilled section offers something for every customer – whatever shopping mission they are on. The entire category is beautifully presented and merchandised throughout.
Keeping a store looking as good as Penny Petroleum Jet does takes a lot of time and effort, so what better way of relaxing than an indulgent two-night break for two. That’s exactly what the store has picked up for winning this category and it’s a well-deserved Reward.
- The store puts fresh and chilled at the heart of its offer with an eye-catching display at the front door.
- Very extensive chilled range caters for all requirements, from ready meals to cooking from scratch.
- Attractive rustic-style presentation of fresh produce both on the shop floor display and in the chiller encourages participation.
- Regular checks throughout the day ensure freshness of stock.
- Good adjacencies ensure big basket spends as shoppers easily find all they need.
Premier Linktown Local, Kirkcaldy
Excelling in National Lottery sales requires both getting the basics right every day and adding something special on top. Kirkcaldy Premier Linktown Local retailer Faraz Iqbal does just that, delivering consistently excellent ‘Site, Stock, Sell’ standards as well as running creative, innovative Lottery-based social media campaigns to drive customer engagement and promoting National Lottery jackpot events to customers in-store.
As winner of the Lottery Retailer of the Year category, Faraz picked up four tickets to the European Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow to enjoy an inspiring day for him and three lucky guests.
- Faraz starts by getting the 10 points featured in ‘Site, Stock, Sell’ programme right every day of the year.
- The store regularly and actively uses its Facebook page to engage with hundreds of consumers by highlighting big jackpots and by creative ideas such as ‘like & share’ posts that allow customers to join ‘syndicates’ that give them the chance to cash in on a winning ticket.
- A core element of the store’s strategy is communication and upselling at the till, particularly around big jackpots. “Just ask everyone if they want a ticket!” he says.
Ian Smith’s Premier Turriff store is proof of what can be achieved in the news and magazines category, with a clear plan and a commitment to delivering higher standards than the competition. Around 34% of the store’s turnover comes from the category and with a Home News Delivery service to almost 400 customers a day, it’s no surprise. The in-store offer is also exceptional with more than 850 titles, in-cluding many from the local area.
This money-can’t-buy prize should be a hit for Ian and guests as he wins a night in News Scotland’s plush VIP Box at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow to see a performance of his choice. The Reward includes accommodation and is sure to be a memorable evening.
- Outstanding core range of over 850 titles covering national, local and specialist interest magazines and newspapers.
- Almost 400 Home News Delivery customers a day covering almost 2,400 sales a week.
- Eye-catching backlit magazine fixture based around leading titles but also tailored extensively for local, rural tastes.
- Proactive management of the category.
- Good siting of fixture next to coffee and food to go station to drive impulse purchases.
David’s Kitchen, Falkirk
Diane Greenough who runs David’s Kitchen in Falkirk has unlocked the key to optimised soft drinks sales by ticking evey best practice box: great siting in-store, excellent core range, immaculate merchandising standards, good space-to-sales on-shelf allocation, a broad range of pack formats and extensive use of points of interruption around the store to drive impulse sales and increase spend on link sales in other categories.
To tie in with Coca-Cola’s current on-pack promo offering consumers the chance to win an ‘unforgettable experience’, Diane will also be receiving an unforgettable experience. She will have the choice of a range of fantastic options and will be reporting back on how she got on.
- Strong core range of products featuring key brands and formats and avoiding range proliferation.
- Excellent merchandising standards.
- Space-to-sales ratio ensures great avilability with fastest selling brands enjoying more on-shelf space.
- Extensive use of multi-siting, often in conjuntion with related products such as crisps and confectionery to drive link sales.
- Prominent use of points of interruption to drive up basket spend and of drinks sales.
Doonfoot Day Today
Doonfoot Day Today retailer Ross MacPherson has been in his store for less than a year but has already made spirits a USP, stocking a huge range that brings customers from miles away and creating lasting loyalty and high basket spends into the bargain. The store generates around 10% of its entire sales from the category and stocks a massive selection of spirits and premium and ultra-premium mixers.
As his Reward for claiming the Spirits Retailer of the Year title, Ross will be taking to the skies on a high-flying aerial adventure as he enjoys a unique flying experience, including an opportunity to the take the controls himself and see Scotland like he’s never seen it before!
- Ross stocks nearly 140 gins from all over the globe to really capitalise on the massive interest in gin at the moment.
- The store also carries a very large range of whiskies, vodkas, rums and specialist spirits and liqueurs to entice shoppers from far and wide to visit.
- Ross focuses on providing gifting solutions that generate big spends and loyalty.
- A range of premium and ultra-premium mixers means shoppers buying premium spirits can enjoy them with high-quality mixers too.
Premier Smeaton Stores, Kirkcaldy
As former winners of this category Asif and Abada Akhtar of Premier Smeaton Stores in Kirkcaldy are shining stars when it comes to community engagement. The level of commitment that they give to being the very centre of most activity in the Smeaton area is simply astonishing and nothing is too much trouble when it comes to supporting community events, helping customers in need and developing strong bonds across the area.
Engaging with the local community and helping organise the many events and initiatives they are involved with should be a little bit easier for Asif and Abada thanks to their Reward for winning this category: a shiny new Apple iPad complete with smart keyboard and cover.
- Partnership with local high school to start breakfast club.
- Provided funds for school uniforms for children in need.
- Raised over £2,000 for a customer with mouth cancer by organising a fun day.
- Established a new charity themsleves and raised over £5,000 in a second event.
- Paid for students’ hair and make up for Prom Night at the local high school’s Department of Additional Support unit.
- Asif did a bungee jump for his 40th birthday in aid of prostate cancer charity.
Costcutter, Dundee Road, Forfar
Despite being from a retailing family, this Costcutter Dundee Road store in Forfar is Shahbaz Majeed’s first foray into owning his own premises and the results are hugely impressive. The attention to detail is outstanding, the quality of fixtures and fittings used is of the highest order and the shopfitting standards are fantastic. The store delivers everything a modern convenience shopper is looking for and more.
Your people are your greatest asset and it’s impossible to create a brilliant new business without a brilliant team. To help store manager Andy Mitchell develop his team, the store picks up a year’s worth of training from Bolt Learning for every single team member across five different modules.
- No detail was considered to small or insignificant when building this store; how many stores do you know with a Dyson hand dryer in the staff toilets?
- No expense was spared, with the highest-quality materials and equipment used – from refrigeration and shelving to flooring and fittings.
- All modern shopping missions catered for including food to go, extensive chilled and a huge walk-in beer cave.
- Spacious and well lit, the store is easy to navigate around and a pleasure to shop with excellent merchandising.
Spar, Hillfoot Garage, Bearsden
This store has earned iconic status in Bearsden over many years of service. However, a full refit of Spar Hillfoot by owner Ian Gillespie, as part of joining Spar, has transformed a busy but tired store into an outstanding modern convenience store that caters carefully for the needs of its affluent catchment area. The store is unrecognisable from its former days and the quality of the refit ensures that Ian is well-prepared for the future.
It’s all about teamwork in Spar Hillfoot, as it is in every store, so a year’s worth of online training from Bolt Learning for every member of the team across five different modules will help them grow together and continue to develop and improve in the future.
- Full-scale refit has converted a much-loved but tired store into a future-proofed modern c-store.
- Modern feel but retaining farmer’s market warmth and homeliness.
- Vastly improved fresh, chilled and food to go sections created.
- New frozen aisle added to merchandise very high-end frozen ready meals range, perfect for the local market.
- Spacious design allows for siting on traditionally popular seasonal and special ranges including flowers and gifting.
Family Shopper, Blantyre
Local retailers mean more to the communities they serve than just being places to buy products. They act as the hub of the community and they take their responsibilities to their shoppers extremely seriously – and no one more so than Mo Razzaq of Family Shopper Blantyre. Mo, a local Councillor, doesn’t shirk taking tough decisions if he believes its ultimately to the benefit of his customers, even if they sometimes don’t agree!
The team at Mo Razzaq’s Family Shopper Blantyre will also be benefitting from a year’s worth of online training from Bolt Learning across five different modules. With a growing store and a growing team, the Reward should be a great help to Mo.
- Mo’s commitment to his customers is unbounded: his actions take him way beyond the statutory requirements of a store and involve education and engagement with the entire community.
- Digital and print POS reminds shoppers of the legal requirements as well as offering advice on healthy drinking limits, substance abuse of various kinds and more.
- Digital fingerprinting technology helps with ID verification.
- Countless fundraising events for needy local causes.
Day Today Supermarket, Bourtreehill
No store in Scotland can operate optimally without the co-operation of a great team, and that’s exactly what Imran Ali has built at his Day Today Supermarket in Bourtreehill. This is a store bringing great service to the local community and replacing retail services which were lost with the closure of local businesses – and none of this could have been achieved without the passionate, enthusiastic work of Imran’s team.
Communications are vital for the team of the year to get the best out of their co-operation and teamwork, so this shiny new iPad should help ensure that everyone stays in touch and drives up efficiency in the store.
- The team worked tirelessly after the former Co-op store reopened as a Day Today after an eight-month layoff, providing a range of much needed services for the local community.
- Imran’s and his team’s goal – which they most certainly achieved – was to “create a unique shopping atmosphere unlike any other store”.
- Staff routinely work extra shifts or hours, create in-store theatre and competitions without having to be asked and even travel great distances to pick up new products so that the store can be the first in the area to stock them.
Family Shopper Blantyre
Mo Razzaq of Family Shopper Blantyre has stolen a march on his competition by implementing two fantastic new initiatives that many have considered but few have actually managed to bring to reality: a one-hour delivery to customers in the local area and a next-generation loyalty and customer en-gagement system. Both initiatives have helped boost sales across the store as well as generate and enhance customer loyalty.
For a category that often involves technology, the Reward here is the latest in hi-tech gadgetry, an Apple HomePod. The latest bit of cool tech from Cupertino will help Mo sort out all kinds of things with a quick voice command, as well as play his favourite tunes with extra-high-quality audio.
- Mo offers a home delivery service within one hour to customers in his local area for a delivery fee of £2.
- The system is built around a dedicated app (powered by Vago E-Commerce) that syncs in real time with his Epos system to ensure all products are always correctly priced.
- The store operates a Privilege Card (powered by Darius for Retail) which is used to provide be-spoke communications and offers for individual customers while allowing for enhanced analytics of customer engagement with the store, allowing Mo to continually improve his customer offer.
Scottish Grocers’ Federation
This year marks a very important milestone in the life of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation: its 100th year in existence. The Federation has been representing the Scottish local retailing sector faithfully and passionately for a century and under the current Chief Executive Pete Cheema OBE and his management team, the SGF is going from strength to strength, ensuring that the opinions of local retailers are heard in Holyrood and Westminster.
- There are very few organisations or companies who can trace their histories back through one hundred years of unbroken service – but the Scottish Grocers’ Federation joins that prestigious and rarefied group this year.
- Established in 1918, the SGF has been instrumental in its century of service in giving small retailers across Scotland a voice and in allowing them to speak as one on matters that affect the sector. Never has speaking as one been more important than it is today with competition from the su-permarkets and discounters tougher than ever. It is vital that our voices are heard in both Holyrood and Westminster, and under the leadership of Chief Executive Pete Cheema OBE, our voices have never been louder.
- The last few years have seen the SGF revitalised and re-energised, leaving the Federation arguably better than ever prepared to ensure that local retailers are fully engaged in every discussion that affects the sector, as they must be if we are to secure the future of this vital £5.2bn industry.