C-Stores 2019: Are you prepared for success?

The 2019 ShelfLife C-Store Awards will take place this November 27 in Dublin's Citywest Hotel

Entry for the ShelfLife C-Store Awards has now closed and the judges are getting ready to visit the hundreds of stores across the country in order to find the 2019 ultimate champion. We have compiled some tips on how to ensure your store is presented in top condition and in turn prevent entrants falling at the first hurdle.



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24 September 2019

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The ShelfLife C-Store judging team visit some of the most modern and high spec stores in the country but they tell us that this often has no bearing on how a store performs in the audit. While a store can look very impressive to the untrained eye, something as small as an overflowing bin or a gloomy employee can scupper chances of being named as one of the best stores in the country.

Make sure you give your store the best chance of success and hopefully you will see your store appear in the shortlist which will be released next month.

First impressions: Ensure that the area outside your store is clean and tidy and free of rubbish. Dustbins and ashtrays should be provided and always clean. The entrance mat, windows and doors should be clean and free from clutter and the general state of the building needs to be in good condition. Also make sure that the store sign/fascia is in pristine condition.

If your store has a forecourt, make sure that pumps are clean and that forecourt services such as air and vacuum are clean and working properly. Ensure customer toilets are clean and well presented.

David and Shirley Bagenall celebrate their win for Best Convenience Store at the 2018 C-Store Awards

David and Shirley Bagnall’s Spar Parkwest was 2018’s Convenience Store of the Year

Shop Floor: Make sure that the shop floor is clean and clear of unnecessary clutter. Ensure that trolleys/baskets are in place, clean and in good condition. All shelving and refrigeration should be clean and working properly.

Personnel:  A well trained and well-presented staff member is so important for your business. Simple things like smiling, looking someone in the eye when speaking to them, being friendly and also knowing the products and services that are on offer can be the difference between a good and bad experience for your customers. Ensure staff are wearing full, clean uniform and are wearing name badges at all times.

Merchandising: The general standard of merchandising throughout the store should be to a high standard. Empty and untidy looking shelves can lead to an immediate fail. The standard of glass, cabinets, corners, areas behind display and range for time of day will all be checked by the judges. If a department is closed, hot and cold cabinets should be spotless and reflect best practice.

Food glorious food: Food should look appetising and fresh at all times. Ensure that staff working in the food-to-go section have the correct clothing, gloves, hairnets etc. The fruit and veg section is very important and needs to look clean, fresh and inviting. “Country of origin” signage needs to be in place for all fruit and veg.

Lotto and news stations: Ensure that the Euro Millions/Lotto poster is inserted on the terminal and play stand and that the Lotto terminal is in the optimum position and that the Lotto stand is clean and free from sellotape residue. Make sure that your news section is properly merchandised and priced.
Ensure that newspapers and magazines are in date and that National Lottery scratch card dispenser boxes are full and correctly merchandised.

Singage: The correct in-store “legal” signage should be on display regarding alcohol, cigarette, Lotto sales etc. Ensure that pricing SELs are correct and in place.

The C-Store judges often comment on the high standard of stores around the country but also on the many stores that fail due to simple mistakes. It is worth taking time to brief your staff on ways to make sure your store is always ready for audit.

Best of luck to all retailers in this year’s ShelfLife C-Store  Awards!






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