Rutter’s, Alain Bouchard and Centra store managers recognised in International Convenience Retail Awards

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Bouchard (centre) collects his award during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit - Europe

Bouchard (centre) collects his award during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe

Rutter’s Farm Stores, the Pennsylvania, USA-based convenience chain, has won the 2014 NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award, sponsored by Imperial Tobacco. BP M&S Simply Food was highly commended.

Alain Bouchard, president and CEO Alimentation Couche-Tard, has been voted 2014 NACS Insight International Convenience Leader of the Year, sponsored by Pepsico.

Kate Walsh, store manager of Herlihy’s Centra Fermoy in Ireland, has won the 2014 NACS Insight International Store Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by TCC. Serena Guihen, store manager, Centra Moycullen, Ireland, was highly commended.

The Awards were presented during the 2014 NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London (4-5 June 2014).

In naming Pennsylvania-based Rutter’s Farm Stores as 2014 NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year, judges emphasized the ways that Rutter’s delivered a world-class convenience store through its focus on people, technology, rewards and food. The company was also recognised for its QSR-modeled food format and quality ingredients, combined with world class operations and best in class use of social and mobile technology.

Ramon Kuijpers, international key accounts manager at Imperial Tobacco, said: “Rutter’s clearly recognises that people make all the difference. Building on its heritage, it lives and breathes this every day throughout every aspect of the business.”

BP M&S Simply Food was highly commended in this award category, for the revitalisation of its BP M&S Simply Food offer with a new, customer-led proposition. Launched in 2009, the award recognises excellence in convenience and forecourt retailing on an international stage and celebrates the best convenience retail formats from around the world.

Alain Bouchard, president and CEO Alimentation Couche-Tard, was selected as 2014 NACS Insight International Convenience Leader of the Year. Judges described Bouchard as a “transformational leader” and a very worthy winner of the inaugural International Convenience Leader of the Year Award.

Bouchard has contributed, along with his team, in transforming the image of the convenience store in the minds of North American consumers and has led Couche-Tard’s growth as the 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.

Kate Walsh, store manager of Herlihy’s Centra Fermoy in Ireland, has won the 2014 NACS Insight International Store Manager of the Year Award. 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 from grocery manager to assistant manager, then fresh food manager to her current role, which she took up in April 2013. Judges found that Walsh’s knowledge and training in the fresh food arena has 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.

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.

Commenting on the entries in the 2014 award, David Ringer, regional director, TCC Global, said: “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.”