Best Practices Finalists

Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite Sales-Building Best Practice!

IGA has handpicked 13 IGA Best Practices for their creativity, ability to save money and/or increase sales, and adaptability by fellow retailers. Now it’s up to you and the rest of the industry to vote for the best!  Vote as many times as you want now through Saturday, February 23rd at midnight. When all the votes are in, the top three will be announced at the IGA Global Rally Awards of Excellence Brunch on Sunday, February 24 and each will take home a $1,000 cash prize for the store. 

Want to know more about these best practice finalists? Join us at the IGA Global Rally for live presentations from each of our finalists, or if you can’t make it, be sure to check out our live stream on Facebook beginning Saturday, February 23 at 9 a.m. PST!

Maximizing Space and Profit with Made-to-Order Meat Bundles

Mt Plymouth IGA - Nakul and Nisha Patel

Mt Plymouth IGA’s meat department is a clear differentiator for the 8,600 square-foot store, but with limited space it was difficult to maximize profits in the department. The solution was to take a tried and true selling tactic and modernize it for today’s shopper: bundling premium cuts of meat at a discount, and marketing them on social media for online and in-store orders. The Mt Plymouth team cuts the meat for pre-ordered bundles during downtime and stores it in the cooler until the shopper picks it up. Shoppers love it and the store brings in an extra five figures a year in sales—with no added risk or space requirements.


Turning Product Loss into Profit with 'Cheese Orphans'

Harvest Market IGA - Jennifer Bosma

Harvest Market IGA cuts their own cheese in-house to sell in their popular gourmet cheese department, leading to robust cheese sales, but also, a fair bit of waste—and shrink—when they end up with small, oddly shaped “leftover” pieces. Instead of throwing the odd-shaped cheese away, they package and sell them as “cheese orphans,” placing them in a basket near the wine and cheese and grab-and-go sections. These orphans have become so popular with customers that the store even cuts some on purpose now. This former food waste gives shoppers an opportunity to sample flavors of cheese they might not have otherwise tried, making it a popular addition to local picnics and wine tastings.


Department Demo-Ramas Liven Things Up and Drive Sales

Archie's IGA - Brian McGregor

Archie's IGA took their successful weekly department cooking demonstrations to the next level, creating a giant Demo-rama held four times a year. Each three-hour signature event includes demonstrations and samples in every department throughout the store, with customers flocking in for beer and wine samples, meat and cheese platters, meal solutions, and more. While Archie’s IGA sees an uptick in sales on the demoed items, whole-store sales are typically up about 10 percent during the Demo-ramas.


Local Cake Artisan Makes a Great Team Member and Store Differentiator 

Mahomet IGA - Brooks Marsh         

Looking for ways to make their store stand out from neighboring big box stores and digital retailers, Mahomet IGA jumped at the chance to form a unique partnership with the town’s most popular independent baker. As a full-time employee who maintains her own branding/marketing, the baker’s addition to the team is a win-win: it lowered cost and capital risks for both entrepreneurs, and the store is now known for having the best cookies, cakes, and pastries around.


Expand Your Selling Space with Outdoor Supplier’s Day Festival

Take N Pay - Jad Pereira         

Wanting to give shoppers access to suppliers' special offers and new products but lacking extra space in-store, once a year Take N Pay expands into their parking lot, creating a mini food show known as “Supplier's Day.” The store gives each supplier an outdoor area to promote the products of their choosing, and supplements the fun with face painting, jumping castles, and various performers. New shoppers are drawn in for the fun, Take N Pay gets to experiment to see what products should be moved in to the store as regular items, and the store sees a 35 percent increase in sales turnover for the day.


Increase Your Sales Capacity and Satisfy Shopper Needs with a Text-to-Deli Program

Lake Region IGA - Irene Marks

Located next to a well-known recreational lake, Lake Region IGA gets quite a line of customers grabbing lunch from the deli for their day on the water in the summers. One particularly busy day, a customer suggested on Facebook that the store implement a pre-ordering system. By the end of the day, the store had purchased a laptop and set up a Google Voice text-to-deli program, allowing customers to pre-order their deli items via text for a quick and easy pick-up. With minimal cost to launch and maintain, Lake Region IGA’s text-to-deli program has boosted sales by 11 percent and is very popular with customers.


Mobile Popcorn Machine Drives In-store Experience and Sales

Ritchies Dromana - Jarrod Swaine 

As shoppers demand healthier snacks, packaged popcorn product sales started jumping at Ritchies Carrum Downs. Taking the trend a step further, Ritches brought in a mobile popcorn machine that allows them to pop and serve fresh popcorn in any department in the store. This low-cost, high impact practice has served as a fun differentiator that customers love, and increased snacking sales with an added $26,000 a year!


Mix-and-match Craft Beer Offers More Variety at a Higher Margin

Cornell's IGA - Kip Faulhaber                 

Beer sales are up nationally, but with so many new craft beer brands and flavors, many shoppers are overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar options. Cornell’s IGA stocks individual bottles and empty cartons, giving shoppers the options to create a mix-and-match six pack for $10.99. Shoppers love the option to try new craft beers—after just nine weeks, craft beer sales were up nearly 13 percent!


Store-made Hoagies Become a Community’s Preferred Fundraising Tool

Sprankle’s Neighborhood Market IGA - Doug Sprankle

With a number of non-profit organizations in their community looking for fundraising support, Sprankle’s Neighborhood Market IGA needed a unique way to help. They created a hoagie fundraiser program, offering non-profits the opportunity to resell Sprankle's well-known hoagies and keep 50 percent of the profits. Thanks to this partnership, Sprankle's has increased their hoagie sales by 40 percent while watching their community grow and prosper.


Turn Two Annual Events Plus Weekly Tastings into a 20% Increase in Annual Wine Sales

Schild’s IGA - Kevin Schild

When Schild’s IGA wanted to take their wine department to the next level, they purchased a tasting license and started offering a weekly wine tasting. The tastings, held on Fridays from 3-6 p.m., were so successful in sales that they paid for the initial $500 licensure fee after just one week. Fast forward a year, they are now hosting larger ticketed events complete with store-made food and vendors sampling 16-20 bottles. The events are such a hit, the store has tripled their selling space for wine and are still seeing a 20 percent surge in wine sales, equaling more than $9,000 per month.

West Horizon Co. Ltd_ Jiayu Guan_ China

Compact Stores and At-home Delivery Spark Daily Sales in Fresh Foods

Jiayuguan Western Horizon Commerce and Trade Co. Ltd - Zhe Zeng

Northwest China’s cook-at-home tradition, compact refrigerators, and desire for fresh vegetables mean most people have to shop for groceries daily, but clustered neighborhoods, narrow roads, and limited parking spaces make daily driving to big supermarkets difficult. Jiayuguan Western Horizon Commerce and Trade Co. came up with a two-part strategy to make grocery shopping easier for these communities: 1. They built compact stores within five-minutes walking distance; and 2. utilized the public app, WeChat, so customers could avoid travel altogether, and instead place an order through the app for delivery within 15 minutes. Even though the stores themselves are small—at just 900 square-feet—Jiayuguan Western Horizon Commerce and Trade Co. is able to use their larger stores as a distribution hub and contracts with a network of local growers to stock the stores with over 60 percent of SKUs in fresh, meaning they have the fresh products their shoppers want and they are not limited by the physical size of the store.

Massy Group - Sustainable

St. Lucia Stores Take a Risk with Green Technology That Pays Off 

The Massy Stores LTD. - Janice Edwards Lionel and Caron Charlemagne

While sustainability is becoming increasingly important in all areas of the world, island-based retailers like The Massy Stores LTD. know better than most how important it is make positive change. Over the course of six years, The Massy Stores LTD. in St. Lucia have been remodeling their stores to become more energy efficient. Through the installation of LED lights, efficient refrigeration and HVAC systems, and solar PV systems (technology that is new to retailers in the Caribbean), six out of their 11 stores are now completely modernized with sustainable best practices resulting in significantly reduced energy expenses, improved food safety, and a better shopping experience for customers. To date, the cost effectiveness of the redesigns has led to a $260,000 energy cost savings, and huge thumbs up from environmentally conscious customers.

Hui You Group_ Baoding_ China

Winning Shopper Trust with Tiny Bean Sprouts

Hebei Hui You Commercial Chain Development Co., Ltd - Zhe Zeng

In Chinese cuisine, bean sprouts are very popular but extremely perishable and prone to contamination, with many growers cutting corners by adding fertilizers or using poor-quality water. Hui You Group in Baoding, China decided to build their own automated sprouting line, ensuring they could offer shoppers a safe, quality product while gaining their trust. And since bean sprouts are seldom served alone, securing shopper’s bean sprout purchases has resulted in a sales increase of more profitable foods such as pork, beef, and mutton.