Exceptional Independent Supermarkets Recognised at IGA Awards of Excellence
Leading IGA stores across Australia are celebrating after winning awards at the prestigious annual IGA Awards of Excellence held on the Gold Coast, 15 July 2019. Fourteen outstanding stores have been recognised after winning the following awards:
- IGA Delicatessen Department of the Year: Romeo’s Food Hall IGA MLC Martin Place
- SUPA IGA Delicatessen Department of the Year: Boccaccio SUPA IGA Balwyn
- IGA Meat Department of the Year: IGA Baldivis
- SUPA IGA Meat Department of the Year: Romeo’s Food Hall IGA Summer Hill
- IGA Bakery Department of the Year: Preston Street IGA
- SUPA IGA Bakery Department of the Year: Ritchies SUPA IGA Dromana
- IGA Fresh Produce Department of the Year: Preston Street IGA
- SUPA IGA Fresh Produce Department of the Year: Fresh St. Market IGA
- IGA Grocery & GM Department of the Year: IGA Baldivis
- SUPA IGA Grocery & GM Department of the Year: Fresh St. Market IGA
- IGA Dairy/Freezer Department of the Year: IGA Baldivis
- SUPA IGA Dairy/Freezer Department of the Year: Ashcroft’s SUPA IGA Erskine Park
- IGA Customer Service & Experience Award: IGA Exmouth
- IGA Xpress Small Format Innovation Award: Swanbourne Market IGA Xpress
- Retail Transformation & Innovation Award: Brighton Foodland IGA
- 2019 Community Award: Penola IGA Fresh
- Team Member/Rising Star Award: Kellie Johnstone, Mawhood’s IGA Grenfell Plus Liquor
- IGA Xpress Store of the Year: Lovey’s IGA Xpress Hawks Nest
- IGA Store of the Year: Preston Street IGA
- SUPA IGA of the Year: Fresh St. Market IGA
- IGA Hall of Fame – Leo and Elaine Ryan and Ron Corrigan and Rod Allen
- National retailer of the Year: Fresh St. Market IGA
The awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of independent retailers across the country. Not only the IGA stores that are an integral part of their local communities, but also the teams who work in the stores to put the heart and soul back into shopping and set the benchmark for other IGA supermarkets across the retail network.
The national awards were judged on a range of criteria including customer service, community pride, department excellence, brand values, sales, profits, merchandising and the store’s overall performance.
IGA Xpress Store of the Year: Loveys IGA Xpress Hawks Nest
Owned by two locals, Peter Trappel and James Lovegrove, this little store is a one-stop-shop that holds its own with larger stores. It has been well planned and executed with every item accounted for. It has a full delicatessen offering and is a market leader in its class with a large range of slice-on-demand meats, specialty cheeses and fresh options. The highest quality fresh produce is provided by the Co-op direct from the markets of Sydney and Newcastle.
Peter said: “James and I are really committed to raising the bar and are constantly striving to innovate and keep up to date in a fast-changing environment. We have a genuine interest in the communities that we live and work in and just like to offer the best possible shopping experience for our customers that we can possibly deliver. It was a privilege to be nominated for the award and very special to take it home especially when you are competing against such high-class retailers. We consider ourselves lucky to be selected from such a pool of innovative retailers across the country. We are really proud to be involved in this industry and receive this award, but of course this is really a true team effort. We have four stores and very much rely on our amazing staff to deliver a great shopping experience and we are really thankful for all the hard work and effort they put in to achieve this.”
IGA Store of the Year: Preston Street IGA
IGA Preston Street is a market leader in providing the highest quality fresh produce, an exceptional meal solution offer prepared by experienced chefs, along with a bakery and meat offer that have set the benchmark within the industry. IGA Preston Street is a great example of the level of excellence that can be achieved by a small size store. The entire team are strong supporters of the local community, donating to numerous charities and supporting many schools and sporting organisations. All this together with old school customer service makes IGA Preston Street the complete package.
“Renee Steenkamp (Manager and owners’ daughter) said: “It is amazing when you come to these national awards. You meet so many people and so many stores who are doing such an amazing job, so it is a real honour to be amongst those people and to take home awards is even more special. We couldn’t do what we do without our team, in fact some of our managers have been with us for 20 to 30 years which is rare in the retail industry. Our fantastic staff combined with our loyal customers and local suppliers really help to make our store what it is today. We couldn’t be prouder. Mum and Dad have been in the industry for over 30 years, and growing up in the store, it’s amazing to see where they have come from and how independents have changed over the years. If we as independents stick together with the support of Metcash, we can continue to be a formidable force in the grocery industry.
National Retailer of the Year: Fresh St. Market IGA
Fresh St. Market IGA in Atherton is a complete shopping destination, offering a huge range of grocery and fresh products including health foods, bulk foods and products for allergy sufferers all under the one roof. In keeping with IGA being the heart of the community, they source as many products locally as possible, employ locals instead of adding extra self-checkouts and recently reduced the stores carbon footprint by switching to recyclable packaging and energy efficient refrigeration. The team’s pride in the store is demonstrated by their friendliness, helpfulness and maintenance in keeping the store fresh, clean and inviting. It truly is a great place to work and shop!
Speaking of the win, store owner Michael Shakes said: “Every day we all strive to offer best in class standards for our customers, selling high quality, good value products supported by excellent customer service in our store. We are passionate about supporting local producers, farmers and smaller companies and whether you want to grind your own coffee, make your own nut butter, buy in bulk or just do your everyday grocery shop, we will look after you! This award acknowledges the hard work, commitment and passion of the entire team who collectively make this store what it is and I couldn’t be prouder!”
These awards were presented to the store teams by Metcash CEO Supermarkets & Convenience Scott Marshall and Chairman of the IGA National Retailer Council, Joseph Romeo.
Scott Marshall said the IGA Awards of Excellence acknowledge the hard work, commitment and excellence IGA stores across the country have demonstrated throughout the year.
“This year’s winners reflect the strengths of the IGA network. Day in and day out IGA stores deliver phenomenal experiences to the shoppers who come through their doors but also, go over and above for the benefit of their local community. These innovative stores have not only delivered amazing shopping experiences and high-quality produce to customers but also, are a true testament to the vibrancy of the independent retail grocery industry.” Congratulations to all of the winners” he concluded.
IGA was proud to support News Corp’s recent Adopt a Farmer campaign
IGA was proud to support News Corp’s recent Adopt a Farmer campaign, designed to highlight the issues our rural population are facing and support farmers, shops and businesses in country towns across Australia who are doing it tough as because of the ongoing drought.
The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Courier Mail, with the support of Public, Independent and Catholic schools in Victoria, NSW and Queensland set an ambitious goal – to use a gold coin ‘mufti’ day on May 8 to raise much needed funds to distribute via Rural Aid for recipients to spend in their local communities. Kids News also provided information on the drought and its significance, so teachers can use the mufti day as a chance to educate kids in the city about the rural plight. In total they raised over $300,000.
Proudly independent and with a network of 1400 stores across Australia, IGA is deeply connected to the communities we serve. We have strong connections with local suppliers and producers and given that many of our stores are located in regional and rural areas, we have witnessed first-hand just how tough so many people are doing it as a result of the ongoing drought. We were proud to be able to help in a small way by supplying $20,000 worth of gift cards as prizing for rural students telling their story about how the drought has impacted them. The response was overwhelming from children in some of the worst drought affected areas in NSW, Queensland and Victoria and the kids unique take on how the drought has impacted their young lives was heartbreaking. You can read all the winning entries here
Put simply, they miss spending time with their parents, are sad about losing animals and would do anything to help their families get through this drought.
Kids hit hard by drought write heartbreaking letters
They miss spending time with their parents, are sad about losing animals and would do anything to help their families get through this drought.
These are the heartbreaking letters from children in some of the worst drought affected areas in NSW, Queensland and Victoria written to The Daily Telegraph as part of the Adopt a Farmer campaign.
I love living on a farm, but it’s been hard for my family. We have no money and the water is nearly gone.
Our sheep are getting skinny. They’re not very big, they’re not fat enough to sell and our paddocks are pretty much just dirt.
We are trying to grow feed, but we don’t have the money to buy water.
My Mum and Dad work hard every day to try and make money. My sister, brother and I help do jobs on the farm. We love to save the orphan lambs.
We have had to sell more than half of our sheep and still have no feed. Dad spends hours feeding out hay and grain.
I’m sitting at the table writing my story, It’s 8pm on a Friday night and my Dad is still working on the tractor.
I wish the drought would end, but sadly it isn’t.
— Abbey Wishart, 8, Macorna, Victoria
Hi my name is Fergus and I am 10 years old. The drought means that we have to choose 1 sport that we can play because there is not enough money to play other sports and Mum can’t drive us to all of them because we have no diesel. I love our cows and feeding our calves and it makes me sad that we might not do this soon. I would hate to sell our farm. From Fergus
My name is Violet and I am 7 years old. When it doesn’t rain we don’t have any money and my dad is very grumpy. We don’t see my dad after school much any more he works very hard. I wish he could eat tea with us but he can’t. I love it when he tucks us into bed but sometimes he can’t do that too because he is always working trying to make us some money.
I’m Harvey and I’m 13, the drought has had a huge affect on my family and all of the other farmers.
Before the drought we were milking 350 cows and now we are only milking 120.
We had to sell all of our cows to afford water and keep on farming in the dairy industry. Ever since the drought and all the water prices have gone up we are currently waiting for the moment to move out and my parents will have to find other jobs. We have had to get rid of our full time worker so that we can save more money. If I could win this money it would really help out me and my 3 siblings and parents. Thanks!
— Fergus, Violet and Harvey McGillivray
My name is Charlotte Darcy and I live on our farm Wattlebank on the outskirts of Tullamore. Tullamore is in Central Western NSW. We have been in a drought on our farm since the start of 2017.
The drought has affected not just the farm and the stock but also my family and myself. This drought has put myself and my brother behind in our homework and when we have assessments we have had to do lots of work to make sure they are in on time because we go out and help feed the sheep and move them around the paddocks to try and find more feed for them with our parents. We also have lots of dust storms that engulfs our house and property. We haven’t had enough rain!! Even after some rain we had a dust storm. It is really depressing!!
Tullamore is only a very small town, we only have 70 students at our school from Kindergarten to Year 12. I only have 2 other kids in my year. Because Tullamore is so small, it doesn’t have many things for us kids to do so each week Mum or Dad drive me to Dubbo so I can dance which I love. Dubbo from our farm is 115km. My brother Jack loves his football and he has to drive himself to Trundle (60kms away) to train two nights a week and then drive from home to lots of different places like Manildra, Peak Hill, Molong and other towns in his competition. This uses a lot of fuel with all the travelling we have to do as a family just so Jack and I can do physical activity. Mum and Dad have allowed us to do one thing each so that we can participate in something.
If I won the $1000 it would help my family a lot by helping pay for water, food and fuel. It would just help us a little bit which would be very appreciated.
— Charlotte Darcy, Tullamore
D — Does everyone talk about how much rain they got overnight.
R — Rugby fields are very hard and hurts when you get tackled!
O — Our House is covered in dust!
U — Under average rainfall
G — Good rain will help the district
H — Help us please
T — Tyre sales are down because the tractors are stopped
D — Decreasing stock and grain.
R — Rural communities are restricted on water
O — “Ooh” we only got 5mm.
U — Umbrellas forgotten what they look like.
G — Gee the drought is bad.
H — How can our community help.
T — To many silos are empty.
S — Saving money and water can help everyone in a drought.
— Mitchell and Toby Stephens, NSW
Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and IGA unveil Aeromedical Aircraft
This afternoon the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Central Operations unveiled its newly branded Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) aeromedical aircraft in recognition of IGA’s new, three-year collaborative sponsorship of the life-saving service. The $7 million flying intensive care unit, VH-FVE (Foxtrot-Victor-Echo), is one of 75 RFDS aircraft spread across the country.
The event, which took place at the RFDS aeromedical base at Adelaide Airport was attended by Tony Vaughan ASM, CEO of RFDS Central Operations, Scott Marshall, CEO of Metcash Supermarkets & Convenience, and Zac Mina General Manager of Metcash Supermarkets & Convenience SA/NT.
Tony Vaughan says the significance of IGA’s financial support is that it will reach far and wide – and deliver lasting community benefit. “The RFDS conducts over 100 aeromedical flights across Australia every day – airlifts 25 South Australians and Territorians every day – but it relies on the support from the community to keep its crews in the sky,” Mr Vaughan says.
“Our association with locally-owned IGA stores stretches for decades, and it’s terrific to now have the company also supporting our work in this tangible manner. IGA’s sponsorship will directly support our capital-raising program for on-going upgrade of our fleet of medically-equipped aircraft that deliver emergency aeromedical services throughout South and Central Australia.”
IGA retailers are all about giving back to their local communities and RFDS has been awarded the most reputable charity brand in Australia for the last eight years. RFDS covers both metro, regional and remote locations in SA and NT, many of which are served also by IGA stores. The partnership works seamlessly with IGA’s values, which include giving back to the local community, even at a grass roots level.
As part of the partnership IGA helps facilitate the purchase of future RFDS aeromedical aircraft. There are also two IGA-badged full-sized aeromedical training simulators in SA and NT which are used by RFDS pilots for training and education.
Also, present was Joseph Romeo, Chairman of the IGA Board and National Retailers Council. “IGA is delighted to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” said Joseph. “IGA stores sit at the heart of communities across Australia and you’ll probably find an IGA store in most of the remote and regional towns that the RFDS fly into day in and day out. This partnership is an alignment of two great brands that are committed to serving South Australians and Territorians and we are delighted to contribute towards keeping these life-saving crews in the air.”
IGA Supports the Adopt a Farmer Initiative
Adopt a Farmer is being driven by The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Courier Mail and was developed to support farmers, shops and businesses across the country who are doing it tough because of the ongoing drought.
The newspapers, with the support of Public, Independent and Catholic schools in Victoria, NSW and Queensland have set an ambitious goal – to use a gold coin ‘mufti’ day on May 8 to raise $800,000 to distribute via Rural Aid for recipients to spend in their local communities.
All proceeds go to farmers in the form of gift cards. The recipients can spend the cash in their local communities. It isn’t just farmers struggling, but town cafes, barbers and other shops in need of a cash injection to help support jobs and services.
Kids are also doing it tough, with many kids staying home from school to work on family properties. IGA is encouraging rural students to share their stories about how the drought has affected them, with the 20 winners each being awarded $1,000 IGA Gift Cards. You can send your stories to [email protected]
IGA Scores Landmark Partnership with Western Force
Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) has scored a major win announcing it has signed an exclusive one-year deal as a major partner of Western Force.
The landmark partnership connects two strongly community focused organisations and sees IGA become the Forces’ sleeve sponsor for the 2019 season, with players and fans alike sporting the IGA logo.
The announcement took place at Supa IGA Wembley, with Western Force players Brynard Stander and Clay Uyen in their new IGA kit, ready for their next upcoming game at HBF Stadium on the 12th April, along with coaching staff and IGA retailers.
Grant Ramage, General Manager Supermarkets WA said IGA is delighted to become part of the Western Force family supporting the West Australian community and encouraging kids to get active.
“Both the Western Force and IGA sit at the heart of WA communities. As family owned businesses local communities shape who we are and what we put on our shelves. IGA retailers across the state are passionate about supporting their communities in lots of different ways – from flipping snags at the footy club, to supporting our local schools and local charities.
“We strongly believe in locals supporting locals so it made sense for IGA to partner with another strong West Australian brand to help foster and support home grown talent. By supporting the Western Force, IGA retailers will play a major role in getting behind the local community and growing this sport across the entire State. Western Force is an institution in this state and it is exciting to be part of that.”
Western Force’s General manager, Kim Welch, welcomed IGA to the Western Force family as a major partner of the club saying that he is looking forward to working with another brand that supports their local communities.
“Our partnership with IGA demonstrates their genuine ongoing commitment to support West Australians. This is an exciting relationship and one that will provide broad reaching benefit for all involved in our great club. We look forward to the opportunity for Western Force players to meet their fans at IGA stores across the state and working alongside other proud West Australian business owners.”
IGA Donates $100,000 to Flood Affected Queenslanders
IGA is proud to partner with GIVIT to help support those affected by the recent floods in Townsville. IGA will be supplying$100,000 in IGA shopping vouchers to families in affected areas, including rural and remote areas whose plight has not been publicised, to help them through this difficult period.
GIVIT is a national not-for-profit connecting those who have with those who need, in a private and safe way. GIVIT supports all agencies, services and charities in Australia who work directly with impoverished, marginalised and vulnerable people. GIVIT makes it easier for organisations to empower their clients and improve quality of life by obtaining the items they require through the website, at no cost. The unique virtual warehouse eliminates the need for organisations to store, sort and dispose of unwanted items, saving valuable time and resources.
Frank Spanos, Queensland and Northern NSW Retail Chair for IGA Supermarkets said, “North Queensland is the food hub of our state and a vital part of our economy. Any issues there impact the rest of the state so it is important, particularly during such difficult times that we that we support the people who provide so much for us. We hope that these IGA Gift Cards help take a little bit of stress around putting food on the table, so that people can concentrate on cleaning up their homes and getting back on their feet.”
Speaking on the announcement of the donation, GIVIT Founder and CEO Juliette Wright added, “Flooding caused by this unprecedented weather event has caused devastation and heartache across large areas of Queensland so we are incredibly thankful to IGA for this generous donation of $100,000 in gift vouchers.”
“This will allow flood-affected residents to buy what they urgently need to support their recovery. Residents will be able to buy cleaning products, replace items in their pantry, and help kids get back to school. This donation will have a massive impact for individuals and families who have lost everything. One hundred per cent of donations to GIVIT are used to purchase items that have been requested by our charity partners and recovery services supporting affected residents. Items are flowing from GIVIT with 8391 items already distributed to those in need.”
“Giving back to our local communities is something that IGA retailers across the country do on a daily basis, but it is even more important in times of crisis like we are experiencing now. Having experienced first-hand the devastating impact of these floods in my own home and witnessing how many locals are doing it tough, we just knew we had to do something,” said Armi Bhela, Domain Central IGA Townsville owner.
To donate or view the items needed in flood-affected areas go to givit.org.au/qldfloods If you are a local charity or frontline service wanting to access donated goods and services, please register at givit.org.au/charity-registration
Canstar Blue Supermarket Satisfaction Ratings 2018
Big thanks to all of our customers who voted IGA into the number three position for overall customer satisfaction ahead of Coles and Woolworths.
The 2018 Canstar Blue Supermarket Satisfaction Ratings compare supermarket chains Coles, Woolworths, IGA, ALDI and Foodland on customer service and staff accessibility, store layout & presentation, freshness of foods, product variety, quality of private labels, special deals, value for money and overall customer satisfaction, based on shopper survey results.
IGA finished ahead of the big two for overall customer satisfaction* and scored five out of five stars for Customer Service and Accessibility of Staff, and we are pretty chuffed with these results.
At IGA we pride ourselves on knowing and listening to our customers and we get that it’s the little things that matter – from lending a hand to the car, doing our best to stock our shelves with the products you want, helping to make your shop quick and easy or taking the time to have a chat and answer questions.
We’re a network of proud independent grocers who put people first. The people who live in our communities and those who are involved with our communities – local suppliers, producers and charities. The people who walk into our stores and those who work in our stores. At the core of who we are and what we do….. is our customers. Because IGA is where the locals matter.
Thanks again to all our shoppers. Looking forward to seeing you in store soon!
For more information check out all the results on the Canstar Blue Website.
* While Woolworths, Coles and IGA all scored a 3 star rating for overall customer satisfaction, Canstar Blue ranked IGA above the big two based on the mean overall satisfaction score.
Three brands of strawberries have currently been withdrawn from sale. To support the produce industry throughout this difficult period, our independent IGA stores are encouraged to continue to sell all other strawberry varieties. Please continue to support our hardworking Aussie strawberry farmers.
Remember – cut em up, don’t cut em out!
Single Use Plastic Bag Phase Out
At IGA we are committed to protecting the environment. That’s why we are aiming to eliminate single-use plastic bags at checkouts in our 1400 independently owned stores Australia-wide by 30th June 2018.
In Australia, we use 5 billion plastic bags every year, 50 million of these blow away into our environment. That’s about 5700 bags every hour!
We recognise our ability as a network of retailers to significantly decrease the amount of plastic being used in Australia. We are committed to working with our suppliers to reduce our plastic usage and increase the recyclability of our private label packaging.
To assist our customers in the transition from single use to environmentally friendly alternatives we have developed a fantastic range of reusable bags available in store.
We have also partnered with Boomerang Bags to provide our customers with free, locally made bags as we all forget sometimes! Boomerang Bags is a not for profit organisation working to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities in making bags – community made, using recycled materials. They provide a free, fun, sustainable alternative to plastic bags.
Keep your eye out for Boomerang Bags in your local IGA store.
Craig from Dungog IGA has been working with Boomerang Bags since 2017.
John from IGA Bingara was one of the first supermarkets in the world to go plastic bag free in 2007.
Information regarding email & text message scams
We have been recently advised that there are a number of Facebook, SMS and email scam promotions, allegedly giving away IGA Gift Vouchers if users perform a particular action and/or provide their personal information. Please note these promotions appear to be national scams impacting IGA and a number of Australian retailers. IGA is not involved in these promotions and the messages are not made by IGA, our marketing agency or any of our affiliated retailers. We have reported these scams to the ACCC and Departments of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs. If you have any other enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact us.