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Highlights from the SPAR Australia Trade Show and Gala Awards

SPAR Australia has recognised the work of its retailers and suppliers at the annual SPAR Australia Trade Show and Gala Awards on the Gold Coast last week.

Held over three days from Thursday, July 28 until Saturday, July 30 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, this year’s theme was The Power of Passion.

The event kicked off with a 1920s-themed welcome dinner on Thursday night. SPAR Australia MD Lou Jardin welcomed all delegates and presented the loyalty bonuses to SPAR Australia Retailers for the fourth time. Rewarding branded stores for their loyalty and providing assistance for SPAR’s independent retailers to continually improve their stores and develop their offers was a great way to start the event.

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Lou Jardin, MD of SPAR Australia

This year another $284,108 was presented to retailers at this event, bringing the total to $934,731 since the program was launched in 2013. SPAR Guild Council deputy chair Bob Little then officially welcomed everyone to the 2015 SPAR Australia Trade Show.

At the event, SPAR Australia’s new corporate partnership with not-for-profit World Wildlife Sanctuaries (WWS) was announced. Guild Council Members joined the founder of WWS, Peter Steele, on stage to commemorate the announcement of the partnership and the great feat that will be undertaken to raise awareness for the cause when Peter Steele becomes the oldest person to ever sail a yacht around the world alone, nonstop and unassisted. This huge feat will be known as SPAR’s Sail 4 Wildlife.

Friday morning saw the commencement of the trade event, with SPAR Australia’s key suppliers in attendance. The following morning event MC, Peter Thurin, welcomed delegates to the Breakfast Session at which world class comedian Mark McConville presented his ‘Laughter Clinic’.

Mr McConville spoke on ‘Living with Laughter’ and delegates shared and enjoyed some serious laughter while learning how their businesses people, profits, and productivity can be enriched through culture in the workplace.

The 2015 SPAR Australia Trade Show concluded with the annual Gala Awards Dinner. The Gala Awards Dinner was attended by more than 300 retailers, suppliers, directors, staff and guests and celebrated the successes of SPAR Australia retailers over the past year. Guest speakers on the night included Mr Jardin and retiring SPAR Australia chairman, Miles Hedge.

Now in its fifth year, the SPAR Retail Awards Program identifies and recognises retailers excelling in their businesses. Through communication of the judging criteria and many hours spent in stores by the regional business managers, stores have had the opportunity to strive for recognition under this program.

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SPAR Australia Gala Awards Dinner 2016

Opening the Awards Dinner, Mr Jardin thanked SPAR retailers and suppliers for their continued support since he joined the company as MD in December 2010.

“It’s been six years now … when I look back there have been a lot of milestones but the important thing is that we have achieved this together so I really want to thank each and every one of you for your contribution to making SPAR a success,” Mr Jardin said.

SPAR Maclean was one of the major award winners at the gala dinner, winning the highly coveted SPAR Store of the Year award as well as Produce Department of the Year and Deli Department of the Year.

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Bob & Judith Little (Store Owners, SPAR Maclean), Tina Ross, Debbie Yates, Karen Kenny, Vikki Smith & John Priddle (SPAR Maclean) and Lou Jardin (MD, SPAR Australia)

SPAR Express Store of the Year was awarded to SPAR Express Terrigal in NSW, while Queensland’s 5 STAR Hughenden was awarded 5 STAR Store of the Year. Lambton Grocer won Affiliate Store of the Year.

Department award winners included SPAR Molong for Meat Department of the Year; SPAR Sussex Inlet, Grocery Department of the Year 2016; SPAR Molong, Bakery Department of the Year 2016; and SPAR Macleay Island, Dairy/Freezer Department of the Year 2016. General Merchandise Department of the Year 2016 was awarded to 5 STAR Hughenden and SPAR Express Lynches Road received Food To Go Department of the Year.

In addition to the awards presented to retailers, two suppliers were recognised for their stands at the trade show. Small Supplier Stand 2016 and Large Supplier Stand were given to Baiada Poultry and Peters Ice Cream respectively.

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Miles Hedge, chairman, SPAR Australia

The gala dinner also paid tribute to outgoing chairman Miles Hedge. Mr Hedge has been with SPAR Australia for almost a decade. Acknowledging his contribution to the company, Mr Jardin said; “SPAR would not be where it is today without Myles”.

Following the award presentations was the major prize draws where lucky retailers had the chance to win two luxurious holidays. To enter the draw, retailers simply needed to speak with suppliers and/or place turn in orders for the supplier deals that were on offer throughout the Trade Show.

The first prize, drawn by Mr Hedge, was a trip for two to South Africa. The lucky winners from SPAR Beaudesert will stay in a lodge classed as ‘ultra-luxury’ while they enjoy a four day safari in the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa, before heading to Cape Town where they will spend four nights on the V&A Waterfront.

The second prize winners, SPAR Inglewood, will spend four nights at the exclusive Qualia resort on Hamilton Island. This luxurious package includes 90-minute massages, a gourmet dinner, a la carte breakfasts daily and plenty of other treats and privileges that are afforded to Qualia guests. On top of this they will enjoy a Whitehaven Funseeker By Seaplane Tour and a Great Barrier Reef Trip to Reefworld.

View the full list of award winners and image gallery below:

SPAR Store of the Year – SPAR Maclean

SPAR Express Store of the Year – SPAR Express Terrigal

5 STAR Store of the Year – 5 STAR Hughenden, Queensland

Affiliate Store of the Year 2016 – Lambton Grocer

Department awards:

Grocery Department of the Year 2016 – SPAR Sussex Inlet

Produce Department of the Year 2016 – SPAR Maclean

Meat Department of the Year 2016 – SPAR Molong

Deli Department of the Year 2016 – SPAR Maclean

Bakery Department of the Year 2016 – SPAR Molong

Dairy/Freezer Department of the Year 2016 – SPAR Macleay Island

General Merchandise Department of the Year 2016 – 5 STAR Hughenden

Food To Go Department of the Year – SPAR Express Lynches Road

Special awards:

Fresh Food Excellence Award 2016 – SPAR Molong

Brand Ambassador of the Year Award 2016 – SPAR Express Ngunnawal

Community Support Excellence Award 2016 – SPAR Express Lynches Road

Gold Star Tobacco Award 2016 – 5 STAR Coffs Harbour

Customer Service Excellence Award 2016 – 5 STAR Dunedoo

Store Investment Excellence Award 2016 – SPAR Express Kallangur

Pride of Workmanship Award 2016 – Laura Dorge of SPAR Express Withcott

Lou Jardin and Bob Little will both be presenting at the C&I Expo on August 17-18. To register to attend, click here.

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