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CHICAGO - IGA USA based here has selected three retailers from among its eight previously named finalists as its 2008 Retailers of the Year. IGA will honor the trio of grocers -Mike Carper of Mick or Mack IGA, Newcastle, Va.; Tim Henderson, Henderson's IGA, Valentine, Neb., and Gregory Lukeman, IGA Bohemia, Bohemia, N.Y. -- at the upcoming IGA Global Summit Awards Banquet in Carefree, Ariz., on March 29.
During that ceremony one of three will be awarded the additional title of 2008 IGA U.S. International Retailer of the Year, for having achieved within the U.S. the superior level of excellence in IGA retailing as judged by IGA's global standards.
IGA revamped its Awards of Excellence program criteria to require a higher level scrutiny to determine this year's winners. The process began last fall when IGA USA asked that its licensed distribution companies submit for candidacy only those retailers who had achieved a Five Star rating under IGA's Five Star Assessment program.
Using a predetermined scoring process, IGA executives then narrowed the submissions to eight finalists. IGA USA c.e.o. Mark Batenic and s.v.p. Doug Fritsch then visited the retailers to perform an in-person store evaluation.
In the final step, each of the eight finalists submitted a short essay explaining how the store demonstrates operational excellence in regard to service, branding, marketing and community commitment. Batenic and Fritsch reviewed the essays and store evaluations, then chose the three 2008 IGA U.S. Retailers of the Year.
"Seeing first-hand how these three retailers operate and interact with their customers and employees left us with no doubt that they are among the finest retailers in the grocery industry today," said Batenic. "They have provided us with the highest measure of success for IGA Retailers across the U.S. and around the world, proving once again that IGA is re-energized and on the move."
IGA, the world's largest voluntary supermarket network with aggregate worldwide retail sales of more than $21 billion per year, includes nearly 4,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide that are supported by 36 distribution companies and more than 55 major manufacturers, vendors and suppliers. IGA has operations in 44 of the United States and more than 40 countries, commonwealths and territories on all six inhabited continents.