A Vancouver Island grocery chain has bagged top honours at the Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year Awards.
Quality Foods was given national accolades for all of its stores during the 52nd annual independent grocery awards in Toronto this week, including gold and platinum distinctions for two Nanaimo locations.
Nanaimo’s Quality Foods in University Village was given a Platinum Achievement Award for receiving accolades for 10 years straight, while Nanaimo’s Northridge Village store took home gold as a master merchandiser for the second-consecutive year.
The merchandiser award – a plaque and $1,000 cheque – is given to stores that add excitement to customers’ shopping experiences, motivate staff and inspire purchases through creative displays and contests.
The recognition is a feather in the cap for the Island chain, according to Rob MacKay, marketing director for Quality Foods.
“To go against independent grocers right across Canada – and very good retailers – and come out on top is quite an honour,” he said.
The awards take place every year in conjunction with the Grocery Innovations Canada trade show and recognize excellence in retail.
The Northridge Village Quality Foods submitted a portfolio this spring displaying merchandising activities, like its Cops for Cancer fundraiser, Christmas decorations and the ‘What’s in the Fridge?’ 30th anniversary campaign. The 30-day campaign randomly gave away prizes to customers at the till.
Kevin Foote, former assistant manager at the Northridge store, said retail is much more than pricing product – it’s getting involved in the community, building relationships and creating a fun and festive atmosphere for shoppers. The awards help confirm they are on the right track, he said.
“[It] validates the hard work we do in the store and the commitment we have from our staff to help achieve this because … it’s a team effort,” Foote said.
All 11 Quality Food stores won awards of merit.