A state of the art service station in Cashel, which was only opened by Topaz four months ago, has won a leading international retailer award.
The Cashel site, at Junction 8 on the M8, was awarded the Insight NACS 2011 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award at a gala ceremony in London last week attended by delegates from 20 countries.
NACS is the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailers and represents retailers and suppliers worldwide.
The award is seen as particularly significant because of the quality of those competing and the fact it is voted on by suppliers and industry peers. Topaz beat off stiff competition from a short list which included Morrisons M-local from the UK, LS travel retail from France and Shell/7-Eleven from Norway.
Topaz, the fully Irish owned and managed company only came into existence as a brand in February 2008. The Cashel site is the first of up to 15 motorway sites which the Company plans to build close to the motorway network. Services on offer at the site include a hot food buffet and café, children’s play area, wi-fi internet access, toilets and showers. The site also has a McDonald’s restaurant, which is also a first motorway location for that company.
Eddie O’Brien, Chief Executive of Topaz, said the award was a huge boost for the company generally and Cashel in particular.
“This is an acknowledgement by our industry peers from across Europe that the range of services on offer at Cashel transform the customer experience. This site is our template for future sites close to the motorway network and it is extremely encouraging that our ‘first-born’ has won such a prestigious award. Our aim is to provide five star rest and refueling stops for motorists and winning this award re-enforces our belief that we are on the right track. The judges were impressed with our commitment to our customers, our staff and the community as a whole and that was especially pleasing,” Mr O’Brien said.
One of the judges Joe Bona, President Retail Division at CBX a New York based strategic branding company said: “Through the integration and use of technology across multiple platforms, from pay at the pump to social media and smart phone apps, Topaz appears to be an innovation leader for the convenience channel.”
Last year Topaz was crowned Irish Retail Company of the Year at the Retail Excellence Ireland Awards in Galway, while in May it was recognised as one of the Best Large Workplaces in Europe.