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AWG Presents Merchandising, Store Manager And Lou Fox Awards

Don and Joan Woods
Don and Joan Woods

Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) presented 11 Excellence in Merchandising Awards, the Store Manager of the Year Award and its Lou Fox Community Service Award on March 26 in conjunction with its 2019 Innovation Showcase and Annual Meeting held in Overland Park, Kansas. The company is based in Kansas City.

The Excellence in Merchandising Award recognizes the best retailers in several categories throughout AWG’s membership.

“These award winners have provided examples of answering one of the most powerful questions retailers need to solve for in today’s highly competitive industry, which is, ‘Why should I shop your store?’” said Jeff Pedersen, EVP, chief sales and support officer for AWG. “The efforts of these winners are all great examples of hard work and efforts to build sales at retail.”

Excellence in Merchandising Award Winners include:

Rouses store manager takes top honors

Cary Robinson
Cary Robinson

The 2018 Store Manager of the Year Award winner is Cary Robinson, Rouses Market in Covington, Louisiana. This award recognizes exceptional store managers who generate sales growth, provide great customer service and are a vital part of the communities they serve. They lead and inspire their team to support their company’s vision for taking care of teammates and customers.

AWG says Robinson’s store routinely is among the top performers in comparable sales, labor control and profit. His attitude toward his customers and community, his passion for sales and the relationship he builds with his team all make up the foundation for his excellent results.

The 2018 Lou Fox Community Service Award winners are Don and Joan Woods of Woods Supermarket, Bolivar, Missouri. The award is named in honor of Lou Fox, GM and president of AWG from 1955-1983. It is given to AWG retailers who follow the Lou Fox tradition of giving back to the community.

“I’m delighted to see Don and Joan win this prestigious award,” said AWG President and CEO David Smith. “They are well known by all of us at AWG for their humility, compassion and service to others. As a family business, they’ve always stepped up when there was a need.”

AWG is the nations’ largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving more than 1,000 member companies and more than 3,800 locations in 36 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions. The consolidated run-rate sales for AWG are approximately $9.7 billion.

In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, AWG also operates subsidiary companies that provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, print and digital marketing services, and health and beauty care, general merchandise, specialty/international foods and pharmaceutical products.

About the author


A 10-year employee of The Shelby Report who writes for and about food. In previous lives, she worked at a police department in Texas and an amusement park in Arkansas. She also was a newspaper publisher for more than a decade. Not sure which of those qualified her for this job.

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