Rutter's Farm Stores was named the 2014 NACS Insight International Convenience Retailer of the Year, marking the first time in the award's history that an American company has been recognized with the accolade.
“I’m so proud of us,” said Alexandra Henry, Rutter’s communication manager. “It’s a really big deal. It’s like the Emmys for convenience stores.”
The award was given Wednesday at the annual convenience summit of the NACS (formerly National Association of Convenience Stores), the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. A panel of industry experts, business leaders and trade publishers considered entries from 14 retailers from three continents before choosing Rutter’s.
Each entrant was evaluated on criteria such as format innovation, technology, loyalty and payment systems, range of growth in new categories and services, people development and customer service.
“We beat out some seriously incredible competition,” Henry said. “There were a lot of big names.”
Those included companies such as BP M&S Simply Food, she said.
Judges said Rutter’s delivered a world-class convenience store through its focus on people, technology, rewards and food, according to an NACS news release.
“Rutter’s clearly recognizes people make all the difference. Building on its heritage, it lives and breathes this every day throughout every aspect of the business,” Ramon Kuijpers, international key accounts manager at Imperial Tobacco, said in the release. “Rutter’s perfectly blends traditional values with modern marketing solutions, putting shopper needs first. Given its successful and sustainable sales track record, customers clearly acknowledge this.”
The award was first given in 2009.
“We’ve been very fortunate to be recognized by both our customers as well as our industry peers as the best not only locally in our Central Pennsylvania marketplace, but also nationally and now internationally,” Rutter’s president and CEO Scott Hartman said in a news release. “When you consider the impressive companies that entered, we take great pride in winning such a prestigious award, and it feels especially great to know that we’re the first chain to bring this recognition home to the U.S.”
York County-based Rutter’s started in 1921.