Four Square Ellerslie wins Foodstuffs North Island’s 2017 Store of the Year award

A small Four Square store in suburban Auckland has pipped its bigger brand brothers to win Foodstuffs North Island’s 2017 Store of the Year.

Auckland, New Zealand, 2017-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Four Square Ellerslie won top honours at the cooperative’s annual awards dinner at Auckland Museum on Friday, 11 August. Around 200 owner-operators, support staff and partners attended the awards, after the cooperative’s annual meeting earlier in the day.

Four Square Ellerslie’s owner-operator, Lin Guo, took to the stage twice, first to accept the award for best Four Square, then to receive the grand title.

Doug Cochrane, General Manager Retail, Foodstuffs North Island Ltd, says the 200 square metre store at the heart of a popular suburban town centre, was the judges’ clear favourite.

“From the incredibly high standards to its impressive range, all driven by what will help his customers get more out of life, Four Square Ellerslie is a store run by an owner who understands that the culture Lin creates with his team is what will set his store apart,” says Cochrane.

“Lin also understands there is great opportunity from being part of our co-operative, and takes every opportunity to get involved and learn. Despite being involved in lots of training outside his store he has managed to keep up the high standards that have helped him clinch this prestigious award.”

Lin Guo accepted the award on behalf of his team and suppliers, without whom he says there would be no store, “I know it sounds a little cliché but this award really belongs to everyone at Four Square Ellerslie.”

“I was shell shocked on the night to receive this accolade in front of so many senior industry leaders. Being part of such a successful organisation keeps me driven.  And the support we receive is enabling a new generation of grocers to ensure we always do our best for the communities we serve,” says Guo.

Other award winners for the separate brand banners in the North Island are:

  • PAK’nSAVE Store of the Year 2017: PAK’nSAVE Albany (Auckland)
  • New World Store of the year 2017: New World Eastridge (Auckland)
  • Gilmours Store of the year 2017: Gilmours Central (Palmerston North)

“Our six-step judging process includes scoring stores on service, quality, fullness, cleanliness, price and performance, before the finalists are visited by judges. It is of the utmost integrity,” says Cochrane.

“That said, I’m pleased Auckland didn’t take all the big awards, with Gilmours Central being recognised for its consistent delivery of operational excellence. Feedback from customers is great and this store is a standout example for the Gilmours banner.”

Six store’s fresh food departments were also recognised for exemplary standards and service:

  • Bakery: New World Wellington City
  • Butchery: New World Whakatane
  • Produce: New World Eastridge
  • Seafood: New World Howick
  • Delicatessen: PAK’nSAVE Westgate

And two special awards recognised supplier relationships and commitment to the co-operative.

“The Supplier Relationship Award went to New World Matamata, based on feedback provided by 325 sales reps from over 40 suppliers. New World Matamata topped the scoring on eight attributes ranging from Health and Safety through to commitments to maintain stock levels throughout promotions.”

“The final gong of the night was the Co-Operative Spirit Award, which was given to Peter Anderson for his outstanding service as the Board Chair, a position he has held since the merger. Before that he was on the Wellington Board and has owned PAK’nSAVE Kapiti with Glen Taylor since 2005.”

“Both Peter Anderson and Lin Guo represent the best of our business and the industry at large, giving 110 percent to all they do, for the benefit of their customers, staff, community and cooperative.”

“I commend them and all of this year’s winners for earning the recognition they undoubtedly deserve,” concludes Cochrane.

Tel: +64 4 472 6435
Fax:+64 4 472 6412

Source: Foodstuffs NZ

PAK’nSAVE Albany owner Paul Blackwell honoured with the 2017 Blake Leader Award

Auckland, New Zealand, 2017-Jun-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Inspirational leader Paul Blackwell and owner of PAK’nSAVE Albany has received the 2017 Blake Leader Award in recognition of outstanding contribution.

If you were to ask anyone who knows Paul Blackwell they will tell you not only can he be counted on for sound business advice, he’s the kind of boss who takes his greatest pleasure in his team’s success – over and above that of his own. He’s the first to brush off any praise for his achievements, so you can be assured being in the spotlight for winning a Blake Leader Award makes him feel pretty uncomfortable.

Regardless, Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin, who nominated Paul, can’t think of a more deserving recipient for someone who has determination, a will to succeed and a belief in achieving extraordinary things in business, sport and community.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”, and this is exactly how Paul Blackwell inspires the people around him. My colleagues constantly tell me that Paul never seeks acknowledgment – his personal reward is about making a real and meaningful difference. Paul and his wife Liz have a stellar list of accomplishments which includes owning one of the most successful PAK’nSAVE stores in the country, coaching hundreds of employees to grow, publishing inspirational works, supporting his church and the community and steering the New Zealand Breakers to a series of heart-stopping wins in the Australian National Basketball League.”

Described as an inspirational husband, father and brother, colleague, boss, Chairman and Director, the list of Paul’s projects makes for impressive reading:

  • 18 years running one of the highest performing North Island PAK’nSAVE stores, claiming Store of the Year in 2016
  • Manager at Farmers, owner of PaperPlus stores, New World store owner, PAK’nSAVE store owner, Foodstuffs North Island director and PQ Blackwell Publishing director
  • Church and community leader
  • Significant supporter of Starship and Heart Kids
  • Owner, Director and Chair of the New Zealand Breakers (with four ANBL Championship wins)

But, it’s the relationship that Paul Blackwell has with the wider community through the Breakers which really highlights his inspirational leadership. Under Paul’s leadership the team has visited hundreds of schools talking with tens of thousands of children, donating tens of thousands of basketballs, skills manuals, coaching guides and DVDs as part of their community programmes. While the team focuses on delivering on the court the Breakers have three people working fulltime in the community – encouraging kids to play in an exciting, globally-recognised sport. That’s all down to Paul and Liz’s personal philosophy of giving back.

Peter Anderson, Chairman of Foodstuffs North Island, has this to add about Paul. “He inspires confidence and passion in those around him. He is very focused on achieving his goals but never at the expense of compromising his very strong values. Paul has integrity and is regarded by all as a natural, unassuming and humble leader, more interested in others’ success than his own. We are delighted that Paul and Liz’s work has been acknowledged by the Sir Peter Blake Trust. It is a thoroughly well-deserved honour.”

Chris Quin adds, “When I asked for Paul’s peers to give us a hand to complete his nomination there was no shortage of contributions. People were knocking down my door to offer their support. Paul Blackwell is universally admired by everyone who knows him. They could not think of anyone more deserving of a Blake Leader Award.”

Tel: +64 4 472 6435
Fax:+64 4 472 6412

Source: Foodstuffs NZ