(CHICAGO, IL) – IGA today announced that Tony Clements of Olney IGA #442 in Olney, Ill., has been named as the 2010 IGA USA International Retailer of the Year. Clements was chosen from among IGA’s USA retailers for having achieved exemplary excellence in retailing and advancement of the IGA Brand in the industry, the IGA Alliance and his community. Clements will be honored along with fellow IGA Retailers of the Year from other countries at the 2010 IGA Global Rally Awards Banquet on April 19 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.
The judging process for the award began in the summer of 2009, when IGA Licensed Distribution Companies (LDC) were asked to nominate their top IGA Retailers for the award. From those nominees, IGA chose six IGA 2010 USA International Retailer of the Year Finalists, including:
Tony Clements - Olney IGA #442, Olney, IL – owned by Houchens Industries
LDC: Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. - Nashville Division
Charlie Gels - Gels' IGA, St. Henry, OH
LDC: Laurel Grocery Company
Robert Hurley - Hurley’s Fresh Market IGA, Towanda, PA
LDC: Bozzuto’s, Inc.
Allen R. Milam - Milam's Market IGA #5, Stuart, FL
LDC: Associated Grocers of Florida, Inc.
Tyler Myers - Kress IGA Supermarket, Seattle, WA
LDC: SUPERVALU INC. - Northwest Region/Tacoma Division
Chris & Robin Sanford - Wadesboro IGA, Wadesboro, NC
LDC: Merchants Distributors, Inc.
In the month of December, IGA CEO Mark Batenic and IGA Senior Vice Presidents Doug Fritsch and Dave Bennett visited each of the Finalists’ stores to observe how the retailers utilize the IGA Brand to meet the needs of their customers and their communities. Upon review, Clements was chosen to represent IGA USA as the 2010 IGA International Retailer of the Year.
“Our six IGA USA International Retailer of the Year Finalists are all exceptional grocers,” IGA CEO Mark Batenic said. “They represent the best the retailing world has to offer, and our decision this year was extremely difficult. In our eyes, each of them is a winner in every sense of the word.”
Clements’s Houchens Industries-owned Olney IGA store maintains extremely high standards of operation, consistently excelling in IGA’s training and assessment programs. Additionally, Olney IGA differentiates itself from competitors by offering a wide variety of personalized services for customers ranging from the simple—special orders, custom meat cutting and grocery carryout—to the elaborate—turn-key catering, bakery and floral services for special events. Clements shows his dedication to the Olney community by hosting and supporting events involving community organizations, clubs, sports teams, churches and schools. Notably in 2009, Olney IGA partnered with the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) program to provide jobs for specially challenged students in the community and the Illinois Department of Human Services to provide jobs for individuals receiving public aid.
Tony Clements and his store associates bring IGA’s promise of a personalized, community-focused shopping experience to life for every customer who walks through the doors of Olney IGA,” IGA CEO Mark Batenic said. “No customer request goes unanswered at Olney IGA because to Tony, each of his customers is like family. Combine that individualized customer service with Olney IGA’s stellar operational standards, and you have a store that would be the preferred shopping destination in any city in the world.”
“I am simply overwhelmed to have received such an honor from IGA, but in truth this award belongs to Olney IGA’s store associates and the community as a whole,” Tony Clements said. “I can’t say enough about the people who work at Olney IGA. They are passionate about this store, and about continually learning new skills that will help them do their jobs even better. As for the community, let me just say there is no better place to live, and no better group of people to serve. We’re so thankful that as an IGA store, we have the resources we need to bring them the best service possible.”
IGA is the world’s largest voluntary supermarket network with aggregate worldwide retail sales of more than $21 billion per year. The Alliance includes nearly 4,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution companies and more than 55 major manufacturers, vendors and suppliers encompassing everything from grocery to equipment items. IGA has operations in 46 of the United States and more than 40 countries, commonwealths and territories on all six inhabited continents.