ALEXANDRIA, Va.—NACS Convenience Summit Europe hosted the NACS European Convenience Retail Awards last week. This prestigious competition recognizes outstanding achievements in the European retail communities. The awards—judged by the pillars of the convenience industry—provide one of the greatest benchmarks of global convenience retailing excellence.
Maxol Ballycoolin in Dublin, Ireland, has won the coveted NACS European Convenience Retailer of the Year Award. The award was sponsored by Dover Fueling Solutions. The judges agreed that Maxol is future-proofing its business by focusing on customer needs and delivering a food-focused experience for its customers.
In 2021, Maxol announced a €7 million (US$7.5 million) investment programme that included €1 million to refurbish its Ballycoolin location. The company upgraded the first-floor area by adding customer seating for 24, bringing the overall seating capacity to 99. The outside has also been transformed with the addition of 20 car parking spaces with Ballycoolin now facilitating more than 50 cars, as well as an outside seating area with additional benches, screens, lighting and umbrellas and a rebrand of the car wash facility. On the forecourt, two additional premium fuel pumps now offer Maxol Premium Fuel, which supports the company’s Carbon Neutral Programme by offsetting 100% of the customer’s emissions through investments in certified carbon offset projects.
“After a century of being a retail leader, Maxol continues to prove that our global industry is constantly looking to see how it can stay ahead of the curve and deliver retail excitement to customers. This award is well deserved, and I would like to congratulate CEO Brian Donaldson and his team for being named the 2022 Convenience Retailer of the Year,” said NACS President and CEO Henry O. Armour.
Reitan Convenience Sweden has won the NACS European Convenience Retail Sustainability Award for its PBX brand and setting the standard for what sustainability means in the global convenience retail channel. The award was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.
“We are so happy and proud that PBX won such a prestigious award. PBX would not have been possible without the dedicated people behind the initiative who worked hard and committed from the beginning. We are determined to redefine our industry to make convenience sustainable and sustainability convenient, and it is with great humbleness that we take on this journey,” said Malin Eklund, sustainability director at Reitan Convenience.
Reitan Convenience launched its sustainable convenience store brand PBX in 2021. The store functions as a “living lab,” where Reitan can test its sustainability strategy in a fast and efficient way. Reitan is using the store to directly investigate and evaluate what is most sustainable in terms of both operations and supply to speed up sustainability work in its other operations.
PBX is part of Reitan Convenience's sustainability strategy, which was developed in consultation with Prosperous Planet in 2019. Twelve goals were adopted, including a pledge that by 2030 the company will be a climate-neutral business, that the goods and services sold will be produced in a way that protects the ecosystems, as well as constant development on the range of food and beverages that focus on health and wellness.
Żabka has won the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award, recognizing the company’s fully autonomous Żabka Nano store concept. The award was sponsored by Gilbarco Veeder-Root.
Żabka has 8,300-plus convenience stores in the Polish market, meeting the needs of millions of customers each day. Żabka Nano is the company’s autonomous store concept, which use an innovative method of authorization and payment for purchases, implemented in cooperation with Adyen. To enter the store, the customer places their payment card against a terminal. While inside shopping, all the customer needs to do is select products and leave. A camera system will recognize the products removed from the shelves, calculate the appropriate amount and automatically finalize the payment using the payment card used when entering Żabka Nano. The system does not identify customers and does not remember the image.
“We are currently the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe. However, our ambitions are much greater. Therefore, in cooperation with business partners, we are constantly developing the Żabka Nano stores. We have a common goal, which is to simplify life for customers and offer them convenient solutions using the latest technologies. Thank you for the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award, and we promise that we will surprise yet again by the projects we carry out,” said Paweł Grabowski, director of unmanned solutions at Żabka Future.
As previously announced, Markus Laenzlinger, CEO of Swiss company migrolino AG, is this year’s recipient of the 2022 NACS European Convenience Industry Leader of the Year Award.
“I am honored and delighted to receive this accolade from NACS and join the likes of Magnus Reitan and István Kapitány as a renowned convenience retail leader in our global industry,” said Laenzlinger.
migrolino, owned by the Migros group, Switzerland’s largest retailer, operates 347 convenience stores. Under Laenzlinger’s 22-year tenure, a joint venture was created between the Federation of Migros Cooperatives, the Swiss Federal Railways (until 2005) and Valora AG, which resulted in the convenience store Avec. In 2009, this joint venture was taken over by migros, and since then migrolino has become a leading convenience retail brand in Switzerland that continues to lead the evolution of fresh to-go food and customer-focused service.
NACS Convenience Summit Europe took place May 31–June 2 in Berlin, Germany. The global event takes place each year in a different European city and is hosted by NACS. Visit convenience.org/CSE for more information.