It was a star-studded affair for Leitrim’s SPAR retailers, who last week travelled to Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny for the group’s annual 5 Star Awards ceremony.
The awards programme, which is run by SPAR Ireland in association with the Excellence Ireland Quality Association (EIQA), is now in its 11th year and is a highlight of the SPAR calendar which recognises excellence in all areas of store performance.
Two stores in Leitrim picked up the prestigious 5 Star Award: Corrib Oil SPAR Express Carrick-on-Shannon and McGowan’s SPAR Kinlough, with the latter receiving the prestigious accolade for the fifth year consecutive year.
The SPAR 5 Star Awards Scheme is a rolling programme, meaning that in order for retailers to participate, they must be prepared to undergo a year-long assessment, which involves surprise audits by mystery shoppers, SPAR personnel and EIQA.
The assessments are conducted for shop presentation, customer care and food safety but retailers also carry out their own self-assessments on a monthly basis.
Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director, BWG Foods (owners and operators of the SPAR brand in Ireland), said: “The SPAR group of independent retailers is renowned for its diversity and wide reach in local retailing in Ireland, providing a range of community services through high quality Convenience, Forecourt and Supermarket Stores nationwide.
“Our industry leading 5 Star Awards Programme is focussed on improving store standards so that Irish shoppers across the country can expect the highest standards locally.
“SPAR retailers in Leitrim should be congratulated for their dedication to ensuring we are market leaders in this regard.
“The management of SPAR understand the importance of constantly re-evaluating and updating our 5 Star assessment methods and standards and our retailers always meet the challenge of achieving them,” he said.