Recognizing Achievement

Congratulations to the NACS European Convenience Retail Award Winners.

Recognizing Achievement

July 2021   minute read

The NACS European Convenience Retail Awards recognize outstanding achievements in the European retail community. For 15 years, this program continues to be a pinnacle moment for retailers, industry experts and suppliers who gather at the NACS Convenience Summit Europe to celebrate industry achievements. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, awards were presented during a virtual NACS Convenience Summit Europe, which took place June 1-3. Congratulations to these dynamic winners!

NACS European Convenience Retail Best of the Best Store Award:

Maxol Newbridge

Maxol Newbridge, developed to showcase Maxol’s transformative, customer-centric brand experience, won the NACS European Convenience Retail Best of the Best Store Award for the redevelopment of its store in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. The award was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and selected by Convenience Summit Europe attendees from a crowded field of entrants.

“We’re thrilled to see the Maxol team recognized for its relentless efforts to provide a best-in-class shopper experience in the convenience channel,” said Miles Karemacher, general manager, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. “Following its successful transformation in 2020, Maxol has continued to leverage trends and insights to provide exceptional services that meet the needs of its shoppers every day. Maxol has also been an outstanding and trusted partner for Coca-Cola, and we look forward to continuing to build on that partnership in the years ahead.”

The project, a partnership between Maxol and Aramark, features freshly prepared meal solutions that include a new Maxol Deli, a chicken-focused meal concept called The Rotisserie, and a new ice cream brand, N’ice Cream, in addition to established brands like Burger King and ROSA Coffee.

At the forecourt, the store is one of Maxol’s first to offer the company’s new loyalty app and innovative customer-facing technology to ensure a seamless, omnichannel customer experience.

In 2020, the company launched a carbon emissions offsetting program to support sustainability initiatives, including planting 10,000 trees across Ireland, as well as local community projects and global projects designed to offset carbon emissions, including fuel emissions. The company has introduced 100% recyclable deli packaging and 100% compostable single-use cups and lids, and it harvests rainwater for its car washes, has invested significantly in installing compostable and recyclable bins and encourages customers to reuse cups by offering a 25-cent discount on hot drinks.

The offer has led to strong sales growth at the site in 2020—more than 43% compared to 2019, and at a time when the pandemic depressed driver traffic and general sales at many other retail locations.

Pay by Plate enables Circle K customers to pay for fuel using number plate recognition and a mobile app, offering a completely frictionless customer experience, making Circle K the first fuel retailer to introduce this innovative technology across a full national network.

NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award:

Circle K Europe

Circle K Europe won the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award, which celebrated the global retailer’s Pay by Plate payment technology used for fuel purchases. The award, sponsored by Gilbarco Veeder-Root, recognizes a convenience retailing company making farsighted, long-term investments in technology innovation.

Circle K is the first fuel retailer to introduce Pay by Plate across Europe at scale, which allows customers to pay for fuel using their number (license) plate, offering a frictionless customer experience.

“The launch of Circle K’s innovative and completely frictionless technology is not only a momentous occasion for the industry, particularly in light of the new COVID-driven safety climate, but it’s also terrific news for Europe’s drivers who increasingly come to expect safe, seamless and connected mobility,” said Jason Lund, European managing director at Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

The launch of Circle K’s frictionless technology is terrific news for Europe’s drivers who increasingly come to expect safe, seamless and connected mobility.

Following a successful pilot in Norway, Pay by Plate was expanded to Sweden, and Circle K Europe parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. plans to expand the technology across its Circle K network.

To use Pay by Plate, customers simply drive onto the forecourt, fill up with fuel and, through number plate recognition, pay for the fuel on the Circle K Easy Fuel app. The technology behind Pay by Plate aligns with established number plate recognition technology used at road tolls and parking garages/carparks across Europe, making it familiar to many European motorists.

“We know our customers are becoming increasingly focused on ease, speed, consistency and quality of service. The expansion of Pay by Plate allows us to meet this demand, further simplify and enhance the customer experience as we differentiate our forecourt offering,” said Hans-Olav Høidahl, executive vice president operations Europe at Circle K.

NorgesGruppen’s sustainability strategy focuses on a healthier, eco-friendly, diverse and thriving Norway and a sustainable value chain.

NACS European Convenience Retail Sustainability Award:

NorgesGruppen ASA

NorgesGruppen ASA has won the NACS European Convenience Retail Sustainability Award for its SPAR Snarøya store in Norway. The award, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, recognizes a retail company that has pursued a significant and compelling sustainability initiative that creates positive social outcomes and produces lasting value.

“NorgesGruppen shares our passion for making a lasting, positive difference in the communities we serve,” said Krista Schulte, vice president, industry affairs at The Coca-Cola Company. “Sustainability isn’t just essential for our planet, it is essential for our communities, and as we—and the world—look to renew ourselves, we must continue to work together and strive to make the world a better place for every person, everywhere.”

NorgesGruppen operates the KIWI, MENY and Spar grocery chains in Norway. A Spar licensee, the company also owns and operates convenience retail concepts MIX, Jafs and Deli de Luca.

NorgesGruppen shares our passion for making a lasting, positive difference in the communities we serve.

NorgesGruppen’s sustainability strategy focuses on a healthier, eco-friendly, diverse and thriving Norway and a sustainable value chain. Its SPAR Snarøya store, located in an Oslo suburb, is an example of international best practices in innovative, eco-friendly retail solutions.

Since opening in August 2018, SPAR Snarøya has reduced its CO2 emissions by almost 60%. The modern store was built with solid timber, and the floors and foundations were poured with a low-carbon concrete. Inside the store, energy-efficient overhead lighting is complemented by shelving displays that are backlit by LED lights. Excess heat from the refrigerators and freezers warms the store, and windows are triple-glazed to reduce the CO2 footprint and to maintain an ambient in-store temperature.

Outside, 90 square meters of solar panels power the LED lighting inside the store. The rooftop is a “living roof” covered in grass to capture CO2, and the environmentally friendly asphalt parking lot includes space for 55 vehicles and four charging points for both electric cars and electric bicycles.

Since 2015, NorgesGruppen has made significant reductions in food waste (24%) and is more than halfway to achieving its goal of a 50% reduction in food waste by 2025. To further advance this goal, NorgesGruppen’s NGFLYT tool for automatic orders and operations support helps stores place the right orders and reduce food waste. The tool, in use at SPAR Snarøya, alerts stores when a product is approaching its expiration date, so retailers can reduce the price or take it off the shelves.

NorgesGruppen is the first company in Norway to invest in Tesla electric trucks and is investing in hydrogen trucks for city-center deliveries. The company aims to have all its truck fleet either electric or hydrogen by 2026.

BP launched initiatives throughout Europe to support essential services and frontline workers. In the U.K., BP supplied more than 10 million liters of fuel free to emergency service vehicles, plus provided EV charging. BP’s Wavendon Gate Connect store in Milton Keynes is shown here.

NACS European Community Engagement & Support Award:

BP Europe

BP Europe has won the inaugural NACS European Community Engagement & Support Award recognizing its programs that support first responders, medical personnel and its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award, sponsored by PepsiCo, recognizes a retail company that demonstrated leadership and had a positive impact in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last year and through the COVID-19 pandemic, the increased need for corporate leadership in serving people and communities around the world has been evident,” said Kent Montgomery, vice president of industry relations, PepsiCo North America. “And the commitment and perseverance of BP Europe in responding to this call sets an impressive standard for the industry and serves as an inspiration for us all. We’ve seen firsthand the impact of this incredible work, and we are proud to honor a fellow advocate.”

During the pandemic BP launched community-minded initiatives throughout Europe to support essential services and frontline workers. In the U.K., the company introduced a program to supply fuel free of charge to emergency services vehicles, including charging of electric vehicles through BP Chargemaster. In 2020, the program supplied more than 10 million liters of fuel free to emergency service vehicles across the United Kingdom.

In Spain, BP supplied free fuel to emergency services vehicles through Routex fuel cards. Customers could also use their Mi BP loyalty cards to donate points to the Red Cross (Cruz Roja). In Germany, BP’s Aral network gave away 10,000 fuel cards to health workers; in Poland, hospitals received BP Supercards to fund fuel for their medical transport; and in Turkey, BP Turkey supported Istanbul’s state ambulance service by donating fuel.

BP also teamed with Deliveroo for its “Lunch for Lifesavers” initiative. BP donated millions of BP/M&S-branded meals to the program and will distribute the food free of charge to staff and volunteers at vaccination centers and to frontline workers.

In April 2020, BP made one of its largest charitable donations ever to the mental health charity Mind. That same month, Chairman Helge Lund and CEO Bernard Looney each committed to give 20% of their salaries for the rest of the year to mental health charities. “Everyone is dealing with something in life and with the virus it is amplified. Not everyone will be infected, but everyone is affected. Stress, fear, anxiety, isolation. This is a mental health crisis as well,” said Looney.

The BP Foundation also donated U.S.$2 million to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which supports medical professionals and patients worldwide by providing critical aid and supplies.

NACS Convenience Summit Europe 2022

The NACS Convenience Summit Europe took place virtually June 1-3. Next year, the event takes place live in Berlin, Germany, from May 31 to June 2, 2022. Visit for more information.

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