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Improving the Performance of Our Community Center with IGA

Author: Dennis Darling

The Independent View

    Dennis Darling

Improving the Performance of Our Community Center with IGA


 February 7, 2012 

In preparation for next week's 2012 Awards of Excellence Banquet at the IGA Global Rally in Las Vegas, The Independent View today profiles IGA USA International Retailer of the Year Dennis Darling. Read on to learn why Darling believes IGA is important to his retailing success.

When I think about why IGA works for me and my team, it's really a combination of things. It's what IGA's community-focused brand means to shoppers, and also the programs that we get to help us deliver a better shopping experience. Clearlake is home to a very low income, older population, and they in particular need a store with knowledgeable and friendly associates, but they also need a real community center that cares about the issues they're facing and tries to help. With IGA, we're able to do both. We have the resources we need to do a great job at retail, and the freedom we need to connect and give back on the local level.

Everything that IGA provides for us—whether it's the marketing programs or the training or the assessment—all really comes down to improving the performance of our community center. When shoppers see the IGA logo in the store and in their pantries on IGA Exclusive Brand products, they recognize that red oval to be a representation of their community. That's a really powerful brand distinction that you're not going to get with any chain store.

When it comes to operations, one of the most powerful aspects of this brand is the Alliance itself. There is no end to the resources within the IGA family because there is no end to the knowledge and the willingness to help. The suppliers, manufacturers, the retailers and IGA corporate all work together to make your store successful—you just have to be ready to use those relationships to their fullest extent. For us, that means getting to know our fellow Alliance members and getting in touch with them when an opportunity arises, reading The Independent View each day to learn what's going on, and going online to the Alliance site to read about IGA retailer best practices.

Foods Etc. IGA has achieved IGA Five Star excellence because all of our employees work together as a family within the IGA family. It's a system that works for us, and just as importantly, it works for Clearlake. We are proud to be leaders in our community and within IGA, and I am humbled to be honored as an IGA International Retailer of the Year.


Dennis Darling