Applegreen has won the NACS Insight 2016 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award for its new M1 Lisburn Motorway Service Area in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The award, sponsored by Accenture, was presented during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe in London on 9 June at this year’s International Convenience Retailer Awards gala.
Applegreen’s new M1 Lisburn site is a first of its kind, occupying a total floor area of 16,000 square feet. The site features seating for 300, offering ample space for customers to rest, even on busy days. 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.
Recognizing that food is becoming a main focus in convenience retailing, Applegreen M1 Lisburn provides six foodservice options including a Chopstix Noodle Bar, Subway, Burger King, the popular U.K. bakery Greggs and Applegreen’s proprietary Bakewell concept, featuring high quality and great tasting foods developed by the retailer’s in-house food scientist. Applegreen’s Bakewell brand includes the Eat Smart range of products, focusing on the use of clean and natural ingredients without additives and preservatives.
The M1 Lisburn site also features a new Lavazza Coffee Bar, a concept designed and led by Applegreen in partnership with Lavazza. The Coffee Bar occupies a much larger space in comparison with other traditional coffee offers in a similar setting, as well as soft lighting and intimate seating areas.
Competition for this year’s Convenience Retailer of the Year Award was strong, with six extraordinary companies—two from Ireland, two from the United Kingdom, and one each from Norway and Sweden—selected by convenience and fuel retailing industry peers as finalists. Judges agreed that Applegreen’s new M1 Lisburn site displays an excellent and effective use of space, as well as a great mix of proprietary and branded food concepts.
Competition for the top award was very intense this year. Deli de Luca ran Applegreen very close indeed and received the Highly Commended Award, for their highly innovative and impressive new forecourt format.
Deli de Luca’s pilot stores feature format innovation including a premium range of food to go, an increased focus on healthy options, American Diner-inspired seating areas and new product categories – Delis Pizza and Delis Grill.“Our offering further strengthens our focus on delivering a high quality experience of food and beverage to people on the go – this is essential from the top to bottom in our organization,” Deli de Luca says.
They also feature Deli de Luca’s own Delis Kitchen and healthy food options in prime locations in store.
According to Deli de Luca, Delis Kitchen provides real competitive advantage in the Norwegian market. Established in 2009, Delis Kitchen produces fresh foods for all Deli de Luca outlets each day, with daily ordering for managers for increased flexibility. The concept also enables Deli de Luca to fast track new ideas to the test phase and quick launch.