The Convenience Retail Awards looks for the very best local stores, doing the best job possible for their customer base. But this can mean different things to different people and in different locations, so the judges aim to get out to visit as many stores as possible to form a fully-rounded view of the business in its local context.
It would not be feasible to visit every store that enters the Convenience Retail Awards each year, so the first stage of judging is to select a longlist of stores that appear to be the strongest contenders, and to choose the overall winners from this list. The initial selection is made entirely from the entry and photographs submitted, so it is important to make sure your entry shows your store in the best possible light. There is no such thing as a definitive recipe for success in the Convenience Retail Awards, but all of the winners have some ingredients in common, so your entry should reflect this.
Business success – sales figures, trading history, sales mix for different product categories. Remember there are separate awards categories based on store size, so a high level of sales per square foot is just as important as an impressive total turnover.
Range – outline the full convenience product offering you supply to your customers, highlighting any particular areas of strength and/or strong growth.
High standards – commitment to cleanliness, product availability and appealing merchandising.
Engaged staff – enthusiasm, teamwork and product knowledge within the store team, plus a commitment to supporting charities or other local events and organisations.
The last field on the entry form – where we ask you to tell us why you think you should win – is the opportunity for you to put the performance of your store in context. This is your final chance to impress the judges with your guiding philosophy and approach to retail, anything that sets you apart from the local (or national) competition, and how you have overcome adversity to lead the business to a position of success. You may use 300 words.
The successful candidates from the first stage will then be visited by a member of the Convenience Store team to gather more information and photographs of the store. These visits will be arranged in advance with as much notice as possible, but please be aware the judges only have a short time window in which to carry out all the visits.
Information about the leading candidates from the store visits will then be submitted to the wider judging panel, who will decide on the shortlist for each award and, ultimately, the final winners. The shortlist will be announced several weeks before the awards presentation evening itself.