Applegreen’s M1 Lisburn location has earned the company the title of International Convenience Retailer of the Year for its wide array of conveniences and its effective use of space.
On June 8, during this year’s International Convenience Retailer Awards gala, NACS awarded the NACS 2016 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award to Applegreen. The award, sponsored by Accenture, was presented to Applegreen during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London, which took place at the awards gala.
NACS to award Applegreen the title for its new M1 Lisburn Motorway Service Area in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.
Applegreen’s new M1 Lisburn site is a first of its kind, occupying a total floor area of 16,000 square feet. The site features seating for 300, offering ample space for customers to rest, even on busy days. The store is located on a busy tourist route from Belfast City and, with dedicated bus parking, the store can easily accommodate fluctuations in customer volume and provide patrons with space and comfort for taking a break and enjoying a variety of food and beverage offers. For local commuters, the site’s upper level is designed as a quiet oasis with comfortable seating, complete with the Applegreen Lounge area that includes meeting spaces, free Wi-Fi and mobile charging.
Recognizing that food is becoming a main focus in convenience retailing, Applegreen M1 Lisburn provides six foodservice options including a Chopstix Noodle Bar, Subway, Burger King, the popular U.K. bakery Greggs and Applegreen’s proprietary Bakewell concept, featuring high quality and great tasting foods developed by the retailer’s in-house food scientist. Applegreen’s Bakewell brand includes the Eat Smart range of products, focusing on the use of clean and natural ingredients without additives and preservatives.
The M1 Lisburn site also features a new Lavazza Coffee Bar, a concept designed and led by Applegreen in partnership with Lavazza. The Coffee Bar occupies a much larger space in comparison with other traditional coffee offers in a similar setting, as well as soft lighting and intimate seating areas.
Competition for this year’s Convenience Retailer of the Year Award was strong, with six extraordinary companies—two from Ireland, two from the United Kingdom and one each from Norway and Sweden—selected by convenience and fuel retailing industry peers as finalists. Judges agreed that Applegreen’s new M1 Lisburn site displays an excellent and effective use of space, as well as a great mix of proprietary and branded food concepts.
International Convenience Retail Sustainability Award 2016
The award, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co., recognizes Marks & Spencer for its leadership in development and implementation of sustainable resource strategies that deliver greater operational efficiencies. The award is presented for work that has made a discernible impact, is replicable and will inspire other businesses to identify and implement sustainability initiatives of their own.
Marks & Spencer continues to demonstrate its commitment to its Plan A goals, anchored at the heart of the company’s corporate strategy. Plan A, Marks & Spencer’s ethical and environmental goals, was launched in 2007 as a 100 point, five-year plan. Having achieved its major goal of making its U.K. business carbon neutral, Marks & Spencer has introduced Plan A 2020, which consists of 100 new, revised and existing commitments, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer. Public reporting on the attainment of Plan A goals, including any missed targets, makes Marks & Spencer’s sustainability strategy transparent and accessible both to the public and to the international retail industry, in a quantifiable format.
NACS Insight European Technology Implementation Award
The award, sponsored by Verifone, recognizes S-Group for the implementation of a new mobile fueling feature to its award-winning S-Mobile app, an innovative service that combines retail, banking and fueling to transform the entire retail customer experience. S Group’s mobile fueling app was launched by two of S-Group’s subsidiaries: S-Bank, which provides all co-op members with comprehensive banking services and ABC, a service station chain and fuel trade company.
S-Mobile automatically recognizes the customer’s location, and fueling is initiated by simply choosing the correct fuel pump from the app. After fueling, the payment is handled automatically through the S-Bank Visa card, linking the payment with customer loyalty benefits. S-Group’s mobile app has more than 600,000 downloads in Finland, a country with a population of 5.4 million.
“We want to create simple services with a superb digital banking and retail experience for our 2.8 million customers. With our service, customers no longer need to use traditional card readers and PIN codes at the petrol station. In the Finnish winter, where temperatures can dip below -30 degrees Celsius, traditional pump activation is a hassle. We believe that the app can overcome such inconveniences and ensure a seamless customer experience with automatic payments for the user. This new service is only one way in which we aim to make everyday life easier for our customers,” said Pekka Ylihurula, managing director of S-Bank.
Now in its third year, the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals from around the world to discuss new ideas and gain new commercial connections. This year’s event kicked off in Stockholm on June 5 and ended on June 11 in Dublin.