A north London Spar will go up against Tesco’s Fresh & Easy format in the US in a competition to be crowned the best convenience retailer in the world.
The Village Stores in Walthamstow is one of six retailers to have been shortlisted for the International Convenience Retailer 2012 award, to be announced at the NACS Future of Convenience dinner in London next month.
Co-owners James Brundle, Chris and Daniel O’Connor and Siobhan O’Donnell converted a run-down off-licence into the Spar store two years ago. It now sells more than 2,000 loaves of organic bread baked in store, every week, has an in-store pizzeria run by two Sicilian brothers, and intersperses products from more than 100 small suppliers with everyday branded and value lines.
“To be shortlisted for this prestigious award is the icing on the cake of what has been an amazing but challenging few years,” said Brundle.
“We’ve worked hard to create the ultimate local shop. We feel strongly about working with British producers and endeavour to keep our offering interesting and make our locals proud to shop with us.”
The other finalists are BP Connect, New Zealand Musgrave Centra, Rochestown, Ireland J14/Spar Express, Ireland Statoil Fuel & Retail, Norway and Tesco Fresh & Easy Express, USA.
“If we win this award it will be a David and Goliath achievement as we go head to head with Tesco in the USA,” Brundle added.