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FMI narrows Store Manager Awards field to nine finalists

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute on Monday selected nine finalists for the 12th annual Store Manager Awards competition, which identifies exceptional store managers who generate sales growth, provide great customer service, lead outstanding store teams and serve the community in unique ways. Among the nine, three winners will be named on May 1 in Dallas at the FMI2012 convention and retail trade show.


“The FMI Store Manager Award celebrates the daily achievements among all our store associates,” stated Leslie Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “These nine candidates are the face of our food retail industry, and we celebrate the ways in which they make our companies shine.”



One grand prize winner will be chosen from each of three categories by size of the company: Category A (1-49 stores); Category B (50-199 stores); and Category C (200 or more stores).

All nine finalists will receive two complimentary registrations for FMI2012, three nights of hotel accommodations in Dallas and an engraved award. The three grand prize winners will each receive $1,000.


The tradition continues in Dallas this year as the winners will join the ranks of the 2011 grand prize winners Shawn Commons, PriceRite Supermarket, Reading, Pa.; Allan Bussey, Brookshire Grocery, Tyler, Texas; and Kristi Masterson, Hy-Vee, Sioux Falls, S.D.


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SPMG says digital media platform caters to 55-plus consumer demographic

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO — A Motivate division that exclusively focuses on the 55-plus consumer demographic has announced the launch of a new digital media platform.

SPMG said its digital platform, which receives upwards of 3 million page views monthly and features 23 locally-branded Web properties and one national portal site, Spot55.com. "Each property features hyper-relevant content and promotes a community atmosphere that provides consumers ages 55 years and older with news and lifestyle tips that positively enhance their lives," SPMG said.

"SPMG’s digital platform is a groundbreaking initiative that, for the first time ever, is marrying the very best in 55-plus targeted print media properties with state-of-the-art digital properties," SMPG digital director Chris Morgan said. "This is a quantum leap in Web publishing for our publishers, and provides a seamless pure play for online/offline integration for our national clients."

For more information, visit SPMG.com.

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Spring off to good start as March retail sales increase

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — An earlier Easter holiday and unseasonably warmer weather prompted U.S. retail sales to steadily climb in March, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday.

U.S. retail and food services sales for March, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $411.1 billion, an increase of 0.8% from the previous month and 6.5% above the year-ago period. Retail trade sales were up 0.8% from last month and 6.5% above last year.

Looking across retail categories, adjusted sales at grocery stores increased about 0.4% to roughly $46.8 billion. Health and personal care stores saw a slight decline to nearly $23.2 billion. Retail sales for drug stores and pharmacies were not recorded; however, sales experienced a slight drop from January to February (about $19.2 billion).

Commenting on the results, the National Retail Federation said consumers are continuing to "hold their own," although it’s too soon to tell if the spring shopping season is a successful one.

"Consumers have demonstrated the desire and ability to spend on discretionary items, further helping to spur economic and retail sales growth in the first quarter of 2012," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "While retailers will wait until the end of April to gauge the success of the spring shopping season, it’s evident that consumers are holding their own against rising gas prices and other economic concerns."

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