SCOTLAND was well-represented on a fiery night of prizes and entertainment as Imperial Tobacco hosted its annual Ignite Expo and Awards event in London last month.
Spar Polmont took the prize for Most Improved Retailer in the scheme run by the tobacco firm as part of the Ignite programme – its trade partner scheme that provides reward points and acts to improve tobacco retailing standards.
And the Polmont business, owned by Abdul Sattar, was also one of five UK finalists in the Ignite Retailer of the Year award, a title that was eventually taken by Whitehead Food & Off Licence in Great Harwood in the north-west of England.
There was another Scottish success with Pricekracker, the Premier c-store chain with stores in Dundee and Perthshire, which was named winner of the Best Availability title for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north-east of England, and was a finalist in the UK award.
Other awards presented at the gala event – that also featured acrobats, Bollywood dancers, comedy, magic and music – included prizes for best staff training, best new product supporter, best merchandising, the success story of the year, and Imperial Tobacco sales representative of the year.
Earlier in the day around 350 retailers in the Ignite programme had attended this year’s Ignite Expo.
Imperial Tobacco’s Partnering for Success spoke to retailers about the current transition to EUTPD2 and Plain Pack compliant packs and provided examples of its recommended post-transition gantry layouts, which centre around brand-by-brand locations behind tobacco display ban flaps, with colour coding on shelves to distinguish variants within brand portfolios.
Teams also covered issues like stock rotation and availability through the transition period, and the illicit tobacco trade in the UK.
Retailers could visit a mock-up of the interior of a corner shop, with a display unit containing only standardised packs. The display followed regulations in England but materials to suit Scottish regulations are also available.
Company representatives were also on hand to provide retailers with tobacco price lists and to talk further about the Partnering For Success and Ignite programmes.
There were also stands representing Imperial Tobacco brands and tobacco retailing services.
And Expo attendees heard a keynote presentation about team building by former England cricket captain Nasser Hussain.