NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – November 22, 2010) – CBX, a strategic branding and retail design consultancy based in New York today announced that the second of the locations it designed for Freson Market Ltd., received a major award from the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) during its annual Grocery Innovations Canada tradeshow held in Toronto. Freson’s Manning store in Alberta earned the 2010 Gold Medal Award in the Small Surface Category (stores under 15,000 square feet) in CFIG’s Independent Grocer of the Year Competition.
“This latest award confirms my belief that we are building Canada’s best small store format,” noted Doug Lovsin, Freson Market’s vice president of operations. Last year, CFIG honored Freson’s Valley View store with a Silver Medal Award in the same category.
Freson’s 12,165-square-foot Manning store underwent an expansion and renovation that was completed in October 2008. The project was based on an old-world inspired prototype design created by CBX that updated the store’s interior, exterior, graphics and departmental layout. The supermarket chain is now in the process of rolling out its new look to the 15 locations it operates throughout Alberta. Founded in 1955, the Peace River-based, family-owned company is known for good value, customer service and community involvement.
Though located mainly in rural Alberta towns, Freson stores are increasingly facing competition from larger chains and multi-nationals, explained Joseph Bona, president of CBX’s retail division. “But from a strategic standpoint, none of Freson’s competitors could touch the Lovsin family’s history in the markets they serve,” he said. “That became a significant point of differentiation we sought to highlight in the design. What’s interesting is that founder Frank Lovsin actually worked in many of the Freson stores, establishing a personal relationship with community members and knowing many of his customers on a first-name basis. Our objective was to capitalize on that heritage by making sure customers could sense the family’s presence in their local store. This prestigious award, which examined all phases of the Manning store’s operations, underscores Freson’s strong connection with its customers.” Bona added: “It’s great to have our client’s operation recognized. Both our Minneapolis branding team and New York store design team were delighted to hear that the project they collaborated on for the Lovsin family was honored with this award.”
The award for Freson’s Manning store was presented on October 26 in front of an audience of more than 500 grocery industry professionals. The Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year is CFIG’s most prestigious award. From coast-to-coast, Canadian independent grocers vie for this title in the Large, Medium, Small Surface and Specialty categories, with awards presented in the Gold, Silver and Bronze levels. Each of the competing stores is visited personally by a respected retail management expert, who evaluates the locations based on retailing excellence and innovation, store team performance, customer service, space usage, freshness and cleanliness. Once regional finalists are determined, the stores with the most points are audited once again and finalists go on to compete at the national level.