LONDON, 2016-Jun-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Applegreen has won the NACS Insight 2016 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award for its new M1 Lisburn Motorway Service Area in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The award, sponsored by Accenture, was presented during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London on June 9 at this year’s International Convenience Retailer Awards gala.
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—a combination that makes this location a true travel destination for busy commuters in need of a break. Comments reflect that Applegreen continues to be true to its brand and has become a leader in convenience retailers.
“Judging the winner this year was very challenging in such a competitive field. Applegreen’s M1 Lisburn site is a game changer in forecourt convenience retailing and certainly deserves this exceptional accolade,” said Dan Munford, managing director of Insight.
Henry Armour, president and CEO at NACS, said: “Applegreen never disappoints with its innovative and highly engaging formats that offer both convenience and comfort for today’s time-pressed consumers. The amount of attention Applegreen has spent paying close attention to every detail, from the décor to the foodservice and convenience offers, is very impressive.”
Since 2009, the NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award has recognized excellence in convenience and forecourt retailing on an international stage and celebrates the best convenience retail formats from around the world. Retailers are judged across key criteria including format innovation, range, people development, customer service initiatives, corporate social responsibility, technology and results.
Now in its third year, the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe (conveniencesummit.com) 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 ends on June 11 in Dublin.
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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.