Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Metcash leads independents to retailing excellence

The annual Metcash Food & Grocery Expo was held on the Gold Coast in July, delivering the latest in independent retailing.

By Hailey Settineri.

More than 6,000 delegates registered for the three-day event on the Gold Coast, with people flying in from all over Australia plus guests from the US, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Delivering Retailing Excellence’, which focused on driving retail sales at store level through excellence in store standards using the levers of the Diamond Strategy. Diamond business sessions Business sessions facilitated by key members of the Metcash Food & Grocery team enabled retailers to ask questions about Project Diamond and learn how the five-year plan can benefit their business.

Executive GM – Retail Network Russell Parker presented a session on retailing excellence, a critical lever in the Diamond strategy. He said retail excellence is about long-term sustainable growth through the delivery of retailing best practice and, as such, offering shoppers the experience they are asking for.

The session also covered the Diamond Store Accelerator (DSA) program and the “incredible success” that DSA stores have had to date.

GM – Fresh Peter Pokorny and National Retail Operations Manager Roy Leisk discussed the importance of having a compelling fresh offer. They said a good quality fresh offer not only drives repeat purchases and visits, but even more sales per square metre and retailer profitability.

GM Merchandise – Food Andrew Clark, GM Merchandise – Non-Food Ian Roberts and GM – Private Label Anthony Abdallah discussed merchandising strategies. They said a considerable amount of groundwork has been completed within the ‘Shopper-Led Way & Competitive Pricing’ lever, including a select number of pilot stores that have enjoyed “fantastic results”.

Exploring the floor

More than 300 manufacturers and suppliers were showcased at the Expo, where innovation was revealed as coming in all shapes and sizes.

Peters Ice Cream impressed visitors with a double-decker shipping container providing a ‘rooftop’ setting for sampling new Connoisseur varieties, including Canadian Maple with Peanut Butter and Himalayan Salted Chocolate with Vanilla and Almond. Cartoon-character brand ambassadors also wandered the floor, with Peppa Pig promoting Cancer Council sun-care products and Blinky Bill promoting Sunbeam sultanas.

Suppliers at the Fresh Food arena gave retailers ideas on how to create theatre in-store. Poppin Pods showcased its range of living herb ‘pods’ – promoted as looking great in-store and enabling customers to take home the freshest of ingredients. Pacific Retail Management showed retailers how to make the most of the sushi trend with in-store offers from Sushi Ginza. Ovens and gourmet pizza units were also on display for retailers looking to expand their food-to-go offer.

Technologies that save time and money were highlights of the Retail Development section. Airius showcased Air Pear and Duck Bill units that are designed to improve thermal comfort and reduce energy use in-store. LEDified helped retailers consider lighting options that it claims can save up to 80 per cent of lighting costs. WorldSmart assisted retailers looking for the right commerce solution for their business with a range of POS and other technologies on display.

Suppliers awarded ‘best exhibitor’ in their respective categories were Mars, Imperial Tobacco Australia, Don KRC, The The Décor Corporation, Unox, American Express, WorldSmart, SunRice and Schwarzkopf & Henkel.

Leading retailers recognised

The annual IGA National Retailer of the Year Awards were announced at a gala dinner on the second evening of the event.

The awards presentation, hosted by actor and comedian Shane Jacobson, recognised the efforts of the stores and their staff in the community and placed the winning stores as the benchmark for other IGA supermarkets across Australia.

The national awards were judged on a range of criteria, including what the store is famous for, customer service, community pride, living the IGA brand values, sales, profits, merchandising, and the store’s overall performance.

Executive General Manager Retail Network Russell Parker and IGA National Council Chairman Ben Ryan presented the awards to the store teams.

Mr Ryan said the awards were considered a great honour, with competition becoming stronger each year.

“The IGA National Retailer of the Year Awards acknowledge the hard work, commitment and excellence our stores have demonstrated all year,” he said.

“All of our winners have done an incredible job and this award is testament to their excellence on so many levels. In recognising these individuals, we acknowledge the true essence of independent retailing and what it really means to be an IGA retailer.”

Announced on the night were 24 winners, including IGA National Retailer of the Year Ritchies IGA Mt Eliza, Victoria, SUPA IGA/Foodland IGA Retailer of the Year Frewville Foodland IGA, SA, and IGA X-press Retailer of the Year IGA X-press Lauderdale, Tasmania.

Illustrious retailers Tony and Elisabeth Romeo were inducted into the IGA Hall of Fame, which recognises outstanding achievements and contribution to the Australian independent retail grocery industry.

The directors of Romeo’s Retail Group entered the supermarket industry in March 1987 with a single, small convenience store. Progressively, they have built the business into an outstanding independent retailing success story. Today, the Romeo’s Retail Group is a successful independent business, owning 18 Foodlands, six IGAs and one Organic Wholefoods store across metropolitan Adelaide, and three SUPA IGAs and two IGAs in NSW.

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SUPA IGA Deli Department of the Year Award
White’s SUPA IGA Bli Bli, Qld – Michael & Roz White

IGA Deli Department of the Year Award
IGA Cashmere, Qld – Trevor O’Connor

SUPA IGA Meat Department of the Year Award
SUPA IGA Atherton, Qld – Michael Shakes

IGA Meat Department of the Year Award
2nd Ave Mount Lawley IGA, WA – James Kelly

SUPA IGA/Foodland IGA
Bakery Department of the Year Award
Frewville Foodland IGA, SA – Commercial Retail Group

IGA Bakery Department of the Year Award
Ritchies IGA Mt Eliza, Vic – Ritchies Group

SUPA IGA/Foodland IGA
Produce Department of the Year Award
Frewville Foodland IGA, SA – Commercial Retail Group

IGA Produce Department of the Year Award
Ritchies IGA Mt Eliza, Vic – Ritchies Group

SUPA IGA Grocery Department of the Year Award
Romeo’s SUPA IGA St Ives, NSW/ACT – Romeo Retail Group

IGA Grocery Department of the Year Award
Pearsall IGA, WA – Lee-Anne & Adam Woodgate,
Roseanne & Oliver Bertoncini

SUPA IGA Dairy-Freezer
Department of the Year Award
White’s SUPA IGA Bli Bli, Qld – Michael & Roz White

IGA Dairy-Freezer Department of the Year Award
Pearsall IGA, WA – Lee-Anne & Adam Woodgate,
Roseanne & Oliver Bertoncini

SUPA IGA/Foodland IGA General Merchandise
Department of the Year Award
Ceduna Foodland IGA, SA – Geoff Boettcher

IGA General Merchandise
Department of the Year Award
Coober Pedy IGA Fresh, SA – Tim Carter

SUPA IGA Service Department of the Year Award
Ashcroft’s SUPA IGA Summer Centre, NSW/ACT –
Ian & Rochelle Ashcroft

IGA Service Department of the Year Award
IGA Bellingen, NSW/ACT – Michael Sutherland & Rhonda Rowland

IGA X-press Fresh Department of the Year Award
IGA X-press New Town, Tas – Nick & Marco Nikitaras
IGA X-press Grocery

Department of the Year Award
IGA X-press Lauderdale, Tas – Nick & Marco Nikitaras

Retail Achievement Award
Regan Jensen, Qld – White’s SUPA IGA Bli Bli

Sustainable Store of the Year Award
Morgan’s SUPA IGA Meadow Heights, Vic – Morgan Family

SUPA IGA/Foodland IGA Retailer of the Year Award
Frewville Foodland IGA, SA – Commercial Retail Group

IGA Retailer of the Year Award
Ritchies IGA Mt Eliza, Vic – Ritchies Group

IGA X-press Retailer of the Year Award
IGA X-press Lauderdale, Tas – Nick & Marco Nikitaras

Hall of Fame
SA – Tony & Elisabeth Romeo

These awards recognise your outstanding achievement and dedication to the brand in setting the standards for all grocery retail stores to aspire to.

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