Ireland’s leading retailers have been recognised at Ireland’s Forecourt and Convenience Retailer Awards 2019, which took place recently in Dublin, with Lee’s Centra Applegreen in Charleville, Co. Cork being named as the overall winner in the Retailer of the Year category.
The prestigious Ireland-wide awards, now in their 16th year, are the only specialist awards for the forecourt and convenience industry and form part of Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit. They recognise innovation and excellence across a total of 17 categories, including Retailer of the Year, Best Forecourt Facilities, Food to Go Retailer of the Year, Store Manager of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement accolade. Each award is independently judged by Spotcheck through a series of shop visits and panel interviews with industry experts.
Cork retailers picked up a total of four awards on the night – the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jim Barry, Managing Director of the Barry Group, Best Oil Company Initiative was awarded to Inver Energy Ltd and Best Forecourt Category Two (Convenience Store from 1751-2750 sq ft) went to Lee’s Centra Applegreen, Charleville, which also picked up the overall award.
Mayo retailers picked up three awards – Forecourt Category One (Convenience Store up to 1750 sq ft) was awarded to Maxol Westport, Newport Road; Best Food to Go Retailer went to Caseys Circle K / Londis Castlebar, and the winner of the License to Sell Alcohol was Caseys Circle K / Londis Ballina.
Last year’s overall winner, Creighton’s of Balmoral, Belfast, won the Forecourt Category Three Award (Convenience Store greater than 2751 sq ft). Other winners in Northern Ireland included Henderson Retail, Co Antrim which was recognised in the Best Training Initiative category, Mulkerns Eurospar Ltd, Co. Down which won Best Category Management, and Milestone Rathfriland, Co. Down which won Best Fresh Food.
Edwina Donnellan of Donnellans Centra Loughville Stores, Co.Clare was recognised as Store Manager of the Year. Best Motorway Service Station went to Barack Obama Plaza, Co. Offaly and Best Forecourt Facilities was awarded to The Galway Plaza, Carrowkeel, Co Galway. Best Newcomer went to Corrib Oil Spar Express Tralee, Co. Kerry; Winner of the Customer Service Category was Top Oil Service Station, Newhall, Co. Kildare; and Community Store of the Year went to Daybreak, Dungarvan, Waterford.
Bill Penton, managing director of Penton Exhibitions which organises the Awards, said: “We are delighted to be recognising the excellent work that is taking place in the forecourt and convenience retail sector. The category winners should be very proud of their achievement as the standard of entrants gets higher every year and the awards are judged independently through a very rigorous assessment process. Our overall winner, Lee’s Centra Applegreen, has embraced a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship which has enabled them to develop a team of highly trained and motivated staff – fully committed to delivering an excellent service to their customers and the local community.
“Along with Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit, the awards are a key event on the industry calendar and the events have been highly successful this year with over 400 people attending the Summit and 500 in attendance at the Awards. As well as being a benchmark of success, the awards are a great opportunity to come together and celebrate the great work within the sector. From excellence in customer service, to training initiatives, to supporting the local community – the dedication and hard work displayed by our winners is something to be proud of. Many of these retailers provide a vital service for the local community and we congratulate them on their success.”