NACS Recognizes 3 European Convenience Retailers

Awards were given to c-store leaders in overall excellence, sustainability and technology.

June 02, 2023

DUBLIN, Ireland—NACS has recognized three European convenience retailers for their achievements in three areas: overall excellence, technology and sustainability. The awards were presented yesterday during the NACS Convenience Summit Europe in Dublin.

Daybreak Portumna has won the coveted NACS European Convenience Retailer of the Year Award. The award was sponsored by Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS).

“DFS is proud to sponsor and present Daybreak Portumna with the NACS European Convenience Retailer of the Year Award,” said Manwinder Toor, senior director, global key accounts at DFS. “How Daybreak delivers fresh, gourmet foodservice and infuses technology to improve business operations and customer and employee experience make it a world-class convenience retail destination deserving of the distinction.”

Located on the main Loughrea Road into Portumna, a rural town in Co. Galway with a population of 1,500, Daybreak Portumna is operated by Mark and Anne Finn. The store was rebuilt in 2019 and reopened in September 2022 to expand its extensive foodservice offer and seating area.

Launched in 2006, Daybreak stores are independently owned by local retailers who understand and respond to the needs of their communities. Daybreak is operated by Musgrave Wholesale Partners and currently has more than 300 locations in Ireland. Daybreak Portumna was named Best Food To Go/Deli at the 2022/23 Daybreak Store of the Year Awards.

Judges agreed that Daybreak Portumna is a world-class example of a convenience retail destination that emphasizes the importance of creating a fresh and gourmet foodservice and shopping experience.

Circle K Norway has won the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award. The award was sponsored by Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

“We are proud to be the sponsor of the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award and it is exciting to see the award go to Circle K Norway, who has been an industry leader in driving the retail forecourt of the future, leveraging technology, and building partnerships to enhance the experience for its customers,” said Trevor Sinkinson, managing director at Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Europe.

Norway is the leading country when it comes to electric vehicles as a percentage of the fleet, and Circle K has become one of the country’s most aggressive developers of fast-charging EV networks. The company has so far prioritized building its own chargers at Circle K stations in cities and along Norwegian roads, with more than 100 stations with chargers and approximately 800 chargers at its own stations.

Through the Circle K Charge app, drivers access an overview of Circle K’s charging stations and available chargers. Customers can also follow the charging process and see a full overview of charging time, price and battery status. Circle K’s charging offer is not limited to its service stations and convenience stores—customers can charge at home, too. Circle K sells one of Norway’s popular at-home chargers, manufactured by Easee.

Not only is Circle K recharging its customers’ vehicles, it is also keeping their cars clean. In Norway, Circle K launched a car wash subscription program accessible through the retailer’s mobile app. Customers can locate the nearest station that offers the car wash subscription, which allows for a maximum of eight washes every 30 days and two washes per day.

In 2021, Circle K Europe won the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award for its Pay by Plate payment technology used for fuel purchases. Circle K was the first fuel retailer to introduce Pay by Plate across Europe at scale, allowing customers to pay for fuel using their number (license) plate for a frictionless customer experience.

eFuels Forum & eFuel GmbH, based in Hoya, Germany, has won the NACS European Convenience Retail Sustainability Award. The award was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.

“We congratulate eFuels Forum & eFuel GmbH on winning the NACS European Convenience Retail Sustainability Award,” said Kevin LeMoyne, head of convenience retail division, North American operating unit, The Coca-Cola Company. “Combatting climate change is a global effort, requiring action from communities all around the world. As proud sponsors of this award, we applaud eFuel’s dedication to reducing CO2 emissions and driving sustainability forward, a commitment we share as we work toward taking well-informed, decisive action to meet the challenges of climate change head on.”

As a joint venture of 30 medium-sized German petrol station operators and energy traders, eFuels Forum & eFuel GmbH aims to make a decisive contribution to the future-oriented and climate-neutral realignment of business models. It focuses on the production of e-fuels, electricity-based synthetic fuels that are produced from renewable energies such as solar power, wind power or hydropower. Because the burning of e-fuels releases just as much CO2 as was extracted from the air during production, these synthetic fuels are CO2-neutral if the electricity is produced from renewable energies.

E-fuels are increasingly seen as a global alternative to electric vehicles, which until now have been the only option for achieving the decarbonization objectives set by countries throughout Europe.

In May, NACS announced that José Barreiro, executive director of Mobility Iberia, Repsol, is this year’s recipient of the NACS European Convenience Industry Leader of the Year Award.

“I’m honored and grateful to receive an award that, rather than a source of satisfaction, is a motivator to continue pushing forward with what we all do best: serving our customers,” said Barreiro.

Over the past few years, Barreiro has led the transformation of service stations in the Repsol group, including the launch and consolidation of the Waylet loyalty and payment application, which allows more than six million users to easily refuel and recharge at Repsol’s network of service stations and electric recharging points in Spain.