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English Español Reitan Convenience Denmark named 2019 NACS International Retailer of the Year

The Danish operator of the 7-Eleven brand completely transformed its business by setting a huge focus on quality, fresh food.

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Reitan Convenience Denmark is 2019’s International Convenience Retailer of the Year. The Danish company, operator of the 7-Eleven brand, received the award yesterday at the NACS Convenience Summit Europe in London.  

The jury appreciated how 7-Eleven Denmark had tapped into a general demand for fresh, healthy food options by offering more organic products such as 100% plant based cups, a wide range of vegan options and environmentally friendly packaging.

The NACS European Convenience Retail Awards recognise outstanding achievements in the international retail community.

“The award means a lot of the group. We are very dedicated and mean to be the best in our markets. Having this recognition makes all the hard work worthwhile,” said Jesper Østergaard, Director of Reitan Convenience Denmark, to PetrolPlaza.

Reitan Convenience Denmark, part of the Norwegian Reitan Group, opened its first 7-Eleven store in the Danish market in 1993. Today there are almost 200 sites in Denmark all run by independent franchisees.

During the last nine years the company has revolutionized the convenience market in Denmark by focusing on technology, innovation and quality food.

7-Eleven Denmark had to change its strategy to stay relevant in the market. Legislation around opening hours meant that most retailers could not open on weekends and bank holidays.

“We could open in those hours so we would sell a lot of groceries. That legislation eventually changed in 2012 meaning all retailers could stay open. Overnight we lost a lot of grocery sales,” explains Østergaard.

Anticipating a liberal change in legislation, in 2010 the company decided to switch their strategy and move away from traditional convenience store operations in favour of becoming a food and beverage destination.

“By focusing on food and working with a knowledgeable team we have managed to build a trust with our consumers and offer a quality product.”  

Currently a third of their sales are in the category of healthy options. They will continue to expand that segment of their business and look at what other steps forward they can take.

“We are focused now on total growth of the business. We see an opportunity in evening meals, 5 to 9 meals, which we currently don’t sell a lot of. Another focus is climate – how to reduce the use of plastic, etc. We already do some work but there is much more to do.”

Now in its 11th year, the program is a high point for retailers, industry experts and suppliers who gather each June at the NACS Convenience Summit Europe to recognize and celebrate industry success and innovation.

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