And The Oscar For Best C-store Goes To … Rutter’s

Rutter’s Farm Stores of Manchester Township, Pa., won second place for Global Convenience Format of the Year in an international competition that some have dubbed the “Oscars of the grocery industry.”

Competing in the 2008 Retail Industry Awards held Sept. 25 in London, Rutter’s was one of four finalists in the category for “Global Convenience Format of the Year,” which recognizes the top store designs.

The category winner was UK-based Tesco, while another finalist was from the UK and the other was from South Africa. The awards were sponsored by Insight Research and the National Association of Convenience Stores.

Rutter’s President and CEO Scott Hartman was among 1,000 people who attended the ceremony.

“We’re really proud of the new Rutter’s store design, which we’ve rolled out at a half-dozen new stores since spring,” Hartman said. “We’ve worked really hard to create a shopping experience for our customers. Being a finalist for an international honor is rewarding and humbling at the same time.”

Rutter’s new stores boast open ceilings, extensive use of floor and wall tiles, bathrooms with floating ceilings, as well as ample use of music and other upscale accents. The design is environmentally friendly, incorporating more than a dozen “green” concepts such as a white roof to help cool the building, more efficient lighting systems and energy-management software.

The retailer’s new store design has captured other honors recently through industry publications, including a September 2008 feature story in CSD. NACS also featured the chain’s new store design in a video project called “Ideas 2 Go” at the 2008 NACS Show in Chicago this week.

Rutter’s is in the midst of the most ambitious growth plan in its 40-year history, as its investing more than $55 million this year to build 10 stores and 11 car washes. The growth will add 350 new jobs and more than $4.5 million in annual wages and benefits to the area economy. Four additional stores are in the planning and approval process for openings slated for 2009.

Rutter’s has 52 convenience stores in York, Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania.

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