Brian earns a £500 break from the business

Brian McCaughey

Londis Inverarary’s Brian McCaughey was the winner of last year’s Soft Drinks Retailer of the Year award and picked up a £500 travel voucher for his efforts.

There’s nothing quite like the SLR Rewards as Londis Scotland Director turned Londis retailer Brian McCaughey discovered when he won the 2017 Soft Drinks Retailer of the Year award, sponsored by Coca-Cola European Partners. For his amazing efforts in the category, Brian picked up £500 worth of travel vouchers that will go to very good use in the near future when Brian can find a few days free out of the business to go and enjoy a well-earned break.

It’s one of the most important categories in any convenience store and for that reason it’s also one of the most competitive at the SLR Rewards, with a mountain of great quality entries each year, but Brian’s store came out top in the eyes of the judges.

“I was surprised to win it, to be honest,” says a very modest Brian. “I’ve seen a lot of stores in my time and I’ve seen some truly outstanding soft drinks fixtures and while I thought ours was very solid and covered all of the needs of our customers, I never really thought we had a chance. So we were delighted to hear our name called out!”

The judges agreed that Brian’s soft drinks offering was very solid and covered all the needs of his customers, but they went even further than that, stating that his fixtures were simply impossible to fault. The range was adjudged to be spot-on for the audience, the merchandising was clean, efficient and effective and the extensive use of multi-siting meant that very few shoppers left the store without picking up a soft drink of some description.

Promotions were well executed, in-store POS was immaculate and staff were both knowledgeable and friendly. The store stocked all the latest important NPD and the siting of the impulse chiller, right by the front door, was unimprovable.

“It’s always gratifying to be told by people that live and breathe the category that you’re doing things well,” says Brian. “You just do your best and aim for the highest standards you can and hope that your customers appreciate it. So far in our relatively short lives as retailers, myself and my family have enjoyed the challenge and while it’s been tough with a big new store opening near us I think we’ve done a good job.

“But having said that, I’m certainly looking forward to using the vouchers to get a wee break and spend a few days relaxing and thinking about something else! My thanks go to Coca-Cola European Partners and of course to SLR for the Reward.”