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New Hampshire’s McKinnon’s Market Receives Dual Honors From IGA

IGA Dual Awards for McKinnon's
IGA Chairman Mark Batenic (far left) and IGA CEO John Ross (far right) present the CEO’s Innovation Awards to Joe Romeo of Romeo's Retail Group; Kurt Rodhe of Rodhe’s Marketplace; and Ed Penta and Carl Penta of McKinnon's Marketplace.

Last updated on March 25th, 2021 at 07:23 pm

McKinnon’s Supermarket and Super Butcher Shop of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, serviced by Bozzuto’s, has received dual honors from IGA. It was named a 2018 Hometown Proud Retailer and received a CEO’s Innovation Award. This year was the first year the innovation awards were presented.

McKinnon’s Marketplace prides itself on having the largest selection of meat in all of New England. The store is built around the center of the plate, and the grocer has put it front and center in all of its stores.

Carl and Ed Penta, owners of McKinnon’s, wrote an essay for IGA on their perspective of their store as part of their nomination for Hometown Proud retailer status. The market was nominated by Bozzuto’s.

Portions of their essay follow:

We, as the co-owners of McKinnon’s, and our staff work passionately every day to provide top-notch products and service that our customers have come to expect. We are proud our store has been recognized as representing excellence that is among the best of IGA retailers.

Excellence in Operations

“At McKinnon’s, our goal each day is to make the store look like it’s ready for a grand opening in every way. This includes product freshness, product presentation (“eye appeal is buy appeal”), accuracy in tags and signage, store cleanliness and many other details that make a difference in the customer experience, whether the customer consciously recognizes them or not.

We walk our sales floor four feet at a time to evaluate and look for issues. We feel our job is to keep improving our store every day, with the end goal of keeping our loyal customers coming back time and again.

Excellence in Service

Positive word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. We are constantly stressing to our employees the importance to make a good impression with the service they offer: in-store, on the phone or through an email. We feel that in an environment where often the customer sees the price as the difference between McKinnon’s and our competition, our goal is to make excellent customer service the key to what sets us apart. To help us instill this into every employee, we have utilized many different tools including ongoing, one-on-one manager and employee coaching, customer service training videos and IGA-Coca Cola Institute online training.

Our website has a “Contact Us” form where customers can submit any questions, compliments or complaints they may have. These submissions go directly to the owners, store managers and the marketing director to ensure that our staff remedies any issues and responds positively and immediately. We always thank the customer for taking the time to share their thoughts with us.

For out-of-the-ordinary requests, we search all our vendors to avoid ever saying, “Sorry, we don’t have that.” We feel this separates us from other retailers who may not make that effort. Every single customer is important to us.

Excellence in Branding

Spreading the McKinnon’s brand is very important to us. Again, we want each customer to be able to tell their friends about us and about the wonderful service we offered them. Of course, our Excellence in Service is a huge part of our Excellence in Branding.

Community Commitment

We feel that supporting our local community and local causes is an integral part of really being part of the fabric of that community. McKinnon’s is proud to support local Little Leagues, New Hampshire Public Television, Gather (our local food bank) and many other organizations.

Whenever a local organization approaches us for a donation, we never turn them down. We always at least offer a deep discount on any items they wish to purchase from us.

We are always happy to participate in “hang tag” fundraising events organized by IGA and/or Bozzuto’s, such as the “Dream Ride,” which supports local Special Olympics. Recently, we began offering the IGA Cares “Partnership for Drug-Free Kids” hang tags.

In closing, we are very pleased that Bozzuto’s has nominated us for the IGA Retailer of the Year Award. We take great pride in our stores, and we work very hard every single day to keep our customers happy and be good stewards in our community. We feel our success is a testament to that effort.

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