Shortlisted for a hattrick of awards at Retail Industry Awards 2024

Shortlisted for a hattrick of awards at Retail Industry Awards 2024

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve been shortlisted in not one, not two, but three prestigious categories at the Retail Industry Awards 2024: Best Use of Technology, Most Sustainable Retailer Initiative of the Year, and Store Manager of the Year.

This recognition highlights our commitment to innovation, sustainability and exceptional leadership. We are extremely proud of our teams and colleagues for working on some brilliant projects over the last 12 months, achieving incredible results.

Store Manager of the Year: Sundeep Stewart of Kibworth Beauchamp
Sundeep Stewart, affectionately known as Sunni, has been shortlisted for Store Manager of the Year. Her exceptional leadership at Central Co-op’s Kibworth Beauchamp store has driven the store’s success through innovative strategies and community engagement. During Sunni's last year as store manager, Kibworth Beauchamp was the best performing in Central Co-op’s southern sales area, excelling in sales, Member growth and contribution. She organised various charitable events, raising significant funds and fostering strong community ties, and achieved a fantastic satisfaction rate in the last Mystery Shopper survey.

Sunni's resilience and dedication, even while facing personal health challenges, have been truly inspirational. Her leadership has not only driven financial success but also cultivated a supportive and motivated team.

Best Use of Technology: Transformative Electronic Shelf Edge Labels (ESELs)
Our pioneering ESEL rollout has been instrumental in transforming our operations and enhancing customer experience. This technology automates price and promotional updates, reducing manual errors and freeing up valuable time for our store colleagues. Some highlights include:

  • Instant price changes across all stores, managed centrally from our Support Centre in Lichfield, ensuring consistency and accuracy
  • ESELs are battery-powered with a lifespan of up to 10 years, using power only during updates
  • Automation eliminates manual errors, reducing customer complaints to zero
  • By eliminating paper labels, we significantly reduce our environmental footprint

This project showcases our commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance operational efficiency and sustainability.

Most Sustainable Retailer Initiative of the Year: Green Energy Self-Sufficiency
In 2023, we embarked on a journey to embrace renewable energy and enhance operational efficiency through the installation of solar panels across 185 of our retail and funeral locations. 

This initiative represents a strategic effort rooted in our co-operative values of self-sufficiency and responsibility, as well as a dedication to our mission: creating a sustainable Society for all.

Driven by a desire to reduce carbon emissions, mitigate energy market risks and achieve long-term cost savings, our green energy self-sufficiency initiative has been carefully planned and executed over the past year. By transitioning to solar power, we aim to lead by example and inspire other businesses to embrace renewable energy solutions.

We are incredibly proud of our nominations in these three categories, which reflect the hard work and dedication of our teams. The Retail Industry Awards 2024 will be a night to remember, celebrating the best in retail innovation, sustainability and leadership. We look forward to hearing the winners announced in London on the 18th of September to celebrate these achievements and continue our journey of excellence.

Together, we are making a difference in the retail industry and our communities.