IGA Announces 2024 Five Star Retailers

Mar 20, 2024

The Independent Grocers Alliance has unveiled the Five Star retailers for 2024! These retailers and their teams have demonstrated outstanding customer service and operations in the past year.

Independent Grocers Alliance CEO John Ross congratulated the retailers for reaching this distinction.

"IGA retailers and their teams are key members of their local communities, ensuring everyone has access to fresh and affordable food,” he said. “These stores excelled in taking care of their community in the past year, as evidenced by their Five Star status. They consistently delivered a customer-centric, local shopping experience at the highest service level, and I look forward to seeing how they can go even further this year.”

The 2023 Assessment continued to reflect the changing grocery landscape, with a streamlined survey that addressed what was really important and a focus on customer service and engagement.

"The goal of the Assessment is to identify stores that are excelling in the independent industry, while offering feedback and resources to the stores who need it," said Dr. Paulo Goelzer, president of the IGA Coca-Cola Institute. "We want every store to succeed at a high level, and the Assessment helps stores learn what they're doing well and where they can improve."

The Assessment Process

The Five Star Award winners were determined from the average of two assessment visits conducted in the spring and summer of 2023, using measurement goals and an advanced process for providing retailers with the purposeful feedback they need to continually improve the shopping experience.

In spring and late summer, a trained local shopper visited Independent Grocers Alliance stores for an assessment.

"Local is the keyword," IGA Coca-Cola Institute Curriculum Design and Development Manager Jason King noted. "Because the assessor is a shopper of the area, the feedback you get is more targeted to your shoppers — and ultimately more useful in gauging how well you are meeting your shoppers’ needs."

During a store visit, the assessor notifies management or the service desk that they will be performing an assessment and taking photos. Then they walk the store to fully document the strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Trax analyzes the photos to ensure the data is both objective and accurate, sending reports to store owners and directors following each evaluation. Retailers can access their dashboard (maintained by Trax) to see photos and other information collected during the assessment.

The 2024 Five Star Winners

To qualify for Five Star status:

  • The retailer must have been a member of the Independent Grocers Alliance for at least one year (beginning in 2023)
  • The store owner must be the same for both shops conducted

Stores excelling in operations, merchandising, and service earned high marks, setting a high standard for IGA retailers everywhere.

Retailers can check their 2023 Assessment scores on their Assessment dashboard. For a tutorial on how to view your scores, watch this video.

If you are a 2024 Five Star status retailer, please see your email for how to order signage and a customizable press release.

The 2024 evaluations will begin Monday, April 1, with the second visit expected in late summer/early fall. King encourages anyone with questions about the program or in need of access to their scores to contact him, which you can do here.

Want to know more about the Five-Star Assessment Program? Click here.

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