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LONDON — Applegreen was named the NACS Insight 2016 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award for its new M1 Lisburn Motorway Service Area in Northern Ireland.
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 occupies a total floor area of 16,000 square feet and features seating for 300. According to NACS, The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, 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.
Applegreen M1 Lisburn also provides six foodservice options including a Chopstix Noodle Bar, Subway, Burger King, the popular U.K. bakery Greggs and Applegreen's proprietary Bakewell concept.
In addition, the M1 Lisburn site features a new Lavazza Coffee Bar, a concept designed and led by Applegreen in partnership with Lavazza.
Applegreen beat out six companies to earn the honor. Other top contenders were from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden.
According to NACS, Applegreen's new M1 Lisburn site stood out for its 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.
"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," said Henry Armour, president and CEO at NACS.
SUSTAINABILITY, TECHNOLOGY RECOGNITION
Also at the conference, Marks & Spencer won the 2016 NACS Insight International Convenience Retail Sustainability Award, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co.
The award recognized Marks & Spencer for its leadership in development and implementation of sustainable resource strategies that deliver greater operational efficiencies.
"A focus on sustainability not only helps protect our world and resources, it is also good for business," said Ern Sherman, vice president of industry affairs for The Coca-Cola Co. "With this award, we are proud to recognize a retailer who shares our passion for making an enduring, positive difference for businesses and communities."
In addition, S-Group received the 2016 NACS Insight European Technology Implementation Award, sponsored by Verifone. The award recognized S-Group for the implementation of a new mobile fueling feature to its S-Mobile iPhone app, an innovative service that combines retail, banking and fueling to transform the retail customer experience. S-Group is a Finnish cooperative group of companies operating in the retail sector.
S-Mobile automatically recognizes the customer's location, and fueling is initiated by simply choosing the correct fuel pump from the app. After fueling, the payment is handled automatically through the S-Bank Visa card, linking the payment with customer loyalty benefits.
"Consumers are looking for more speed in everything they do and in order to capitalize on the opportunity this creates for our industry, convenience retailers need to be at the forefront of technology implementation," said Dan Munford, managing director of Insight. "S-Group's innovation makes customer's lives easier and the feature that allows tracking of petrol consumption is compelling."
The NACS Insight Convenience Summit — Europe brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals from around the world to discuss new ideas and gain new commercial connections.