Demonstrating high standards across all areas, FoodWorks affiliate store Jack’s Wholefoods and Groceries in Claremont, WA, was the recipient of four awards at the 2014 FoodWorks conference, including the top honour: Large Store of the Year.
By Jane Boler.
Jack’s Wholefoods and Groceries opened in January 2010 and over this time has evolved its offer in response to customer feedback.
Store Manager Chris Waslin said they are always looking to improve their offer, and aren’t afraid of trying new ideas.
“At Jack’s Wholefoods and Groceries, we understand we are in a very competitive market with more competition entering in the future,” he said.
“We understand we can’t be complacent. That is why we are always looking to improve the quality, pricing and range within the store, especially from local growers and suppliers. We believe that all the effort that we put in now will hold us in good stead for the future.”
The store is currently undergoing a refit to provide a bigger offer of fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood.
“We have recently expanded our self-serve deli section and we will be adding some more bays to our grocery section to enable us to increase our range of organic and specialty grocery lines,” he said.
Mr Waslin has worked with the group for the past eight years and has been at Jack’s Wholefoods and Groceries for the past six months.
“I have been working with a very experienced management team looking to continue improving the offer we have and the standards within the store,” he said.
Jack’s Wholefoods and Groceries currently spans 1,350sqm and offers 18,000 SKUs, with another 2,000 to be added on completion of the refit.
Jack’s Wholefoods and Groceries maintains more of a growers’ market feel than a conventional supermarket. From the front of the store, shoppers are able to see all the way to the back, making it visually appealing. The large fresh produce department greets customers before they enter, and has an attractive and vibrant fresh cut flower and plant section directly inside.
Produce for the fruit and vegetable department is delivered daily and sourced locally by an experienced team of buyers. Plenty of locally sourced products are available, including free-range chicken and pork and freshly caught local fish. The upgraded deli department carries plenty of ready-to-eat meals and an extensive range of internationally-sourced cheeses, while the dairy and freezer sections boast a good range of gourmet products without compromising on the basics. An array of gluten-free products and continental bread are available in the bakery, with the grocery department carrying a variety of gourmet ingredients, with bulk food and loose spices proving popular.
“We carry a large range of wholefoods and organics that our customers love,” Mr Waslin said. “We have an extensive range of gluten free and other products for people with special dietary requirements.
“We do offer many unique products that may be hard to find in a standard supermarket and our customers enjoy the convenience of being able to find many of the ‘harder to find’ products in one store. We constantly strive to source and add more of these unique lines based on customer feedback and requests.
“Another focus of Jack’s is range: we are always looking to improve our offer while still maintaining competitive prices.”
In recognition of its comprehensive offer, the store was recently awarded National Large Store of the Year, with owner Fred Fairthorne going on to win awards for Most Outstanding Fresh Produce Department, Destination Retailer of the Year and State Store of the Year – WA.
Commenting on being awarded FoodWorks Large Store of the Year, Mr Waslin was pleased with the win.
“It means quite a lot as it shows that all the hard work and constant improvement we have put into the store over the last five years has been recognised,” he said. “Our primary focus will always be to provide our customers with a positive shopping experience and to keep improving our offer, and if these sort of awards come along on the way, we are more than happy to accept them.”
In 2013, the store was also recognised as WA Store of the Year.