Foodstuffs North Island has announced the supreme winners and finalists from its annual Co-Op Awards, the fiercely contended competition that celebrates supermarket excellence.
“We’re incredibly proud to have had another successful year at the Co-Op Awards”, said CEO Foodstuffs North Island, Chris Quin.
“It is always humbling to see so many industry leaders in one room, and know we are all part of the same team. We pride ourselves at being able to share our successes and apply our business excellence across the cooperative and these awards celebrate the very best of our best. The awards provide a platform to showcase our unique, customer focussed talent. The high standards set by our amazing store owners and their committed staff who go above and beyond not only to meet our customers’ needs but to seamlessly run their operations.”
According to Quin, the awards’ criteria this year had a greater focus on customer satisfaction and employee engagement, compared to previous years.
The judging panel was made up of five Business Managers and Fresh Specialists who made unannounced visits to the top five stores, all overseen by head judge and Foodstuffs North Island Life Member, Glen Miller.
“What makes this competition a standout is the fact that stores are not able to nominate themselves – all stores are subject to strict criteria which means all winners are handpicked for having demonstrated only the best qualities.”
2019 Co-Op Award categories include:
- Safety and Wellbeing Award
- Sustainability Award
- Online Award (new category this year)
- Supplier Award
- Produce Department of the Year
- Meat Department of the Year
- Seafood Department of the Year
- Bakery of the Year
- Service Deli of the Year
- Customer Driven Store of the Year – Four Square
- Customer Driven Store of the Year – PAK’nSAVE
- Customer Driven Store of the Year – New World
- Customer Driven Store of the Year – Gilmours
- Customer Driven Store of the Year – Overral
- Co-operative Spirit Award
New World Papakura, a consistent high scorer, took this year’s Overall Store of the Year award.
“We’re really humbled by the win”, said New World Papakura owner, Peter Lynch.
“We’re grateful to our valued customers for their preference and to our committed staff who give it their all every day.”
The Online Award, a new category this year, was awarded to PAK’nSAVE Kapiti for embracing their online offering and for their overwhelming positive customer feedback. Finalists included New World Pioneer and New World Thorndon.
PAK’nSAVE Customer Driven Store of the Year: PAK’nSAVE Tauriko
PAK’nSAVE Tauriko made it into the top spot not only for their financial performance, but also their outstanding customer satisfaction score. When visiting the store, you will find everything you need to make your shopping experience easier from a mobility scooter at available at the entrance, free fruit for the kids, and a beer of the week on offer in the liquor department. The made-in-store products just keep coming with store-made sausages, seafood salads, ready meals, pies, fresh rolls, croissants and breakfast muffins with the friendly team offering to heat them for you. Staying true to the brand there are extra low prices all over the store creating the feeling that you are truly getting more for your money when shopping at this store.
Finalists: PAK’nSAVE Ormiston, PAK’nSAVE Petone
New World Customer Driven Store of the Year: New World Papakura
New World Papakura has continued to keep the store standard improving from the day it first opened, even prompting head judge, Glen Miller, to say the cleaning was “pretty bloody good!”. This store has one of the highest customer satisfaction scores and its off location merchandising clearly has the customer’s needs first, making it easy to find important items like the new Perky Nana Lumps at the front of the store. The pride the team have in this store is seen in the presentation standards, especially in the butchery case, liquor department and grocery ends where every label and ticket is immaculately placed.
Finalists: New World New Lynn, New World Stonefields
Four Square Customer Driven Store of the Year: Four Square Papamoa
Four Square Papamoa is truly committed to the customer and they show this by putting the store’s vision and purpose right on the wall for all customers to see. They provide the community with easy shopping solutions including store-made pizzas and sandwiches, and they take their commitment to the local community a step further by using local images on the drinks chillers and providing a huge range of local newspapers. The store is immaculately clean and they take the opportunity to grab every last sale to ensure they maintain their double digit sales growth.
Finalists: Four Square Hillcrest, Four Square Edmund Road
Customer Driven Wholesaler of the Year: Gilmours Wellington
Gilmours Wellington has turned their business around in the past year. Sales are up 25%, margin up 16% on the previous year, and customer satisfaction is on target at 30. Owner Operator Matthew Humphrey is collaborative, a strong strategic contributor to banner decisions, and provides a balanced view when there are challenging decisions to be made. He has taken on feedback and quickly turned it into action investing in a strong sales team to support growth, and has focused on growing his team through providing internal opportunities.
Finalists: Gilmours Central, Gilmours Mt Roskill
Foodstuffs North Island Customer Driven Store of the Year (Overall): New World Papakura
New World Papakura is an outstanding example of consistently high standards across the store, from the rear storeroom to the carpark you can clearly see that the attention to detail is evident every day, and that the team take great pride in their work. From outstanding financial results through to excellent safety, team engagement and customer satisfaction the store is a consistent high scorer. On the day of the unannounced judges’ visit, every customer’s expectation was clearly being met at nearly every level possible, with thought gone into associated selling and display merchandising. New World Papakura is consistently excellent across the board and sets a very high benchmark to aspire to.
Finalists: PAK’nSAVE Tauriko, Four Square Papamoa, Gilmours Wellington
Bakery Department of the Year: New World Melody’s
Walking into New World Melody’s bakery department you are surrounded by made-in-store products, unique to this store alone. The store was secretly visited on a Monday morning which is always a hard day for production departments having a changeover of specials and displays, but the shelves were full and very well merchandised. The bakery department stands out as a destination in the store, from its amazing cake cabinet to its store-made pies and top class finishing on the products. The store is immaculately clean and the standout bakery and customer service make this a very deserving winner.
Finalists: PAK’nSAVE Hawera, PAK’nSAVE Taupo
Butchery Department of the Year: PAK’nSAVE Westgate
PAK’nSAVE Westgate’s butchery team have exceptionally high standards year-round, and always make sure product is presented to showcase the freshness and quality. This award is a great credit to the skill of the highly qualified team. Cutting and placement standards are always excellent with a large range to cater to the local community demographic. There is also a great selection of specialty cuts made in store by the team and no request is ever too much for this highly customer driven team. The department manager is always focussed on developing talent and has a very strong team of apprentices as well as several assistant managers who have progressed on to manager roles throughout the business.
Finalists: New World Whakatane, PAK’nSAVE Whangarei
Produce Department of the Year: New World New Plymouth
New World New Plymouth’s produce department is a great example of quality, freshness, creativity and uniqueness. It has an excellent range of products on offer for customers to choose from and the quality of the products is very well maintained. The department manager is often on the shop floor checking the quality of the products and stock levels and guiding his team to maintain the great standards. The team are very friendly and always greet customers with a smile and offer assistance where needed. All promotions are well highlighted and easy to see with big bold displays for specials, and all instore promotions are well in line with seasonal produce. As far as innovation and creativity goes, the department is filled with unique features, value added products, cross merchandising and product information boards. Overall, the department is very tidy and clean and upholds excellent standards throughout.
Finalists: PAK’nSAVE Palmerston North, PAK’nSAVE Albany
Seafood Department of the Year: New World Milford
New World Milford’s seafood department demonstrates a real focus on their customer. It’s a department where freshness and quality are clearly visible, and the serveover presentation standards are consistently above best practice. A great range is always on offer including an innovative and appealing gourmet offering. Clear price perception is supported by ticketing standards and cleaning standards are excellent. The team always greet their customers with a smile and are very engaged, with helpful team members from other departments often willing to jump in and help achieve great customer service.
Finalists: New World New Lynn, PAK’nSAVE Lincoln North
Service Delicatessen of the Year: PAK’nSAVE Westgate
PAK’nSAVE Westgate’s service deli demonstrates amazing service levels, impeccable cleanliness and a friendly team who put the customer at the heart of everything they do. The deli cabinet has an excellent display and flow from one end to another with a good use of different bowls and heights in cabinet. The undercover judges highlighted the great sushi which is well positioned, full and very appealing with a helpful sushi specialist on hand. The hot serveover, cheese bar and meal solutions also all scored highly. The team are immaculately presented and are genuinely passionate about their department.
Finalists: New World Stonefields, New World Thorndon
Online Award: PAK’nSAVE Kapiti
PAK’nSAVE Kapiti has embraced their Online offering and risen to the challenges of introducing it in store. They have always followed best practice, resulting in positive customer feedback. They run a very slick operation in a challenging space. Their pick rate is a very impressive 90.92 and their fulfilment rate and range are both above the banner average and KPIs.
Finalists: New World Pioneer, New World Thorndon
Supplier Relationship Award: New World Melody’s
New World Melody’s is recognised by suppliers for the high standards in store around ticketing and cleanliness and their execution of promotional activity. Things that stood out for suppliers include the incredibly hands on team, and the focus on raising and maintaining standards to increase their customers experience. What sets this store apart is the integrity and fairness in dealings with their suppliers.
Finalists: Four Square Martinborough, New World Matamata
Safety and Wellbeing Award: New World Melody’s
New World Melody’s scored 100% in the safety and wellbeing assessment, but it is the store’s commitment to excel in this area that sets them apart. Owner Operator Kerry Melody is proactive and continues to invest in the store and its people. Compliance is well resourced and is given the people, time and budget required to actively monitor and maintain quality safety controls to minimise harm. In the wellness space they have introduced numerous initiatives to support and recognise the team including pizza appreciation days, installing more drink fountains for staff, partnering with a local gym for subsidised rates, training staff in mental health support and after an incident where a checkout operator was attacked leaving work one evening, now ensure all staff bring their vehicles to the front of the store while it is still light.
Finalists: Four Square Edmund Road, PAK’nSAVE Royal Oak
Sustainability Award: PAK’nSAVE Kilbirnie
PAK’nSAVE Kilbirnie continues to surpass expectations, demonstrating best practice across a whole range of areas. They were the first store to put their hand up for an electric delivery van and will be getting a customer electric charger in the coming weeks. Through their refurbishment and extension last year they impressively sliced their carbon footprint in half. The store remains in joint first place in terms of recycling and composting with an unbelievable commitment to minimise the waste they sends to landfill, and in 2018 they donated the equivalent of over 117,000 meals to the local community. In terms of packaging, they were the first store to have the rPET trays across their butchery range and have embraced BYO containers for customers. They are also trialling the multi-use produce bags, and seafood, deli and bakery departments all have paper bag options. They are a fantastic example of what can be achieved in the sustainability space.
Finalists: PAK’nSAVE Kapiti, New World Browns Bay
Co-operative Spirit Award: Paul Blackwell
Paul has set the highest of operational standards for the PAK’nSAVE banner for a number of years and is always happy to help or share information with any member. During the merger Paul was committed to the best possible outcome and his influence enabled the best parts of both co-ops to be maintained, even during the toughest conversations and decisions. Paul piloted SAP at great cost to his own profitability while the system was still being developed. He then was willing to share all his knowledge with members. Paul generously supports his community and is a role model of what true Co-op Spirit is all about, described by his peers as an exemplary member who loves the Co-op and the independent Owner Operator model.