NI first as store manager is international awards finalist

Joanne Walker, store manager at Eurospar Carrowdore, is a finalist in the FMI Store Manager Awards
Gareth McKeown

A NEWTOWNARDS store manager has become the first Northern Ireland finalist in an international awards ceremony.

Joanne Walker, store manager at Eurospar Carrowdore, is a finalist in the FMI Store Manager Awards, run by the Food Marketing Institute in the US. Joanne is shortlisted in the international category, which aims to celebrate outstanding managers who generate sales growth, effectively communicate company and store goals and objectives, demonstrate team leadership, provide exceptional customer service and improve community relations.

Joanne, who lives in Bangor is the first from Northern Ireland to be a finalist in the awards, which have been running since 2001.

The winners in the four award categories will be announced at the Future Leaders Summit in Louisville, Kentucky in May.

Joanne, who has been store manager at Eurospar Carrowdore for two years said she is delighted to have been recognised.

“I couldn't believe it when I got the email through to say I was nominated and would be travelling to Kentucky for three nights in May."

“This is such a huge opportunity for me; I am passionate about retail and recently managed a £1m re-brand of our Spar store to a Eurospar supermarket in Carrowdore, doubling the store size and our employee numbers. We now employ almost 30 staff and are a real hub of the community in our area. I'll be representing the whole team and village when I'm in the States.”

Mark McCammond, retail director at Henderson Group, owners of the Eurospar franchise in Northern Ireland added: “The FMI Store Manager Awards are highly regarded around the world, and for one of our team to be the first ever finalist from Northern Ireland should be celebrated as deserved. We are constantly striving for growth and setting the standards in store management and community impact here, and Joanne has just set a whole new standard for our region.”

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