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Colemans' Bill Skeard nominated for FMI store manager award


Bill Skeard, store manager at The Gardens in Corner Brook, N.L., was the only Canadian nominated for a Food Marketing Institute (FMI) store manager award.

“Successful store managers are not only committed to increasing sales and profits, they are equally committed to customer satisfaction and improving the communities they serve,” said FMI president and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin.

“We are very proud to recognize all of the finalists of the FMI store manager awards for demonstrating operational excellence, outstanding customer service and innovative community service.”

Skeard, store manager at The Gardens, a Coleman Group of Companies, started in the grocery business as a stock clerk when he was a 14-year-old student.

In 2009, he was selected to manage Coleman’s largest and newest store, The Gardens, in part because he has a reputation for stellar execution.

One part of his mission is to offer customers a superior shopping experience and an example of that is his implementation of a program to have cashiers stand in front of the checkouts inviting customers to their lanes.

  Understanding how to reach customers is also important to Skeard, who offers a regular and free taxi service to students at a nearby university two evenings a week.

The finalists were selected based on their ability to develop programs that achieved positive growth and customer satisfaction in their stores during the past 12-18 months.

The finalists are also recognized for: proven ability to lead, mentor and motivate associates; demonstrating a balance between people skills and operational skills; communicating company goals and store milestones to associates; executing innovative in-store programs and/or special events that improve overall customer service and community relations; improving the financial performance of the store.

Finalists were selected based on stories submitted from their supervisors or store associates.

The entries were judged on originality and creativity and the person’s impact on sales growth, customer satisfaction and community service.

One grand prize winner will be chosen from each of three categories by size of the company on May 11 during the Future Connect leadership conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Tex.

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