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‘Emerging Stronger’ was the theme for this year’s annual Budgens conference, with emphasis on the essence of the Budgens brand: real food for today’s communities.

Having made substantial progress over the last two years with the creation of a strong team; the power of common purchasing on Budgens own brand; laying the foundation of operating systems (including the launch of the Oracle finance system, a new purchasing system, a new warehouse management system and dynamic scheduling, which has saved over a million miles a year from the fleet) Budgens is now in a better position to take on the challenges of a tough environment and a changing consumer.

The conference programme included a supplier showcase with fantastic conference-only deals, interactive workshops, presentations and interviews as well as the store of the year awards 2009 and the gala dinner. The winners were Kanna Mahunda, Budgens Stoneleigh taking the ‘Budgens Essentials Store of the Year’ title; Paul Wilks, Budgens Bedgrove who was awarded ‘Budgens Neighbourhood Store of the Year’; Guy Warner, Budgens Moreton in Marsh, taking the ‘Budgens Supermarket Store of the Year award’ and the overall title of ‘Budgens Store of the Year’ was awarded to Bupa, Lata and Jay Gohil, Budgens Cosford, as well as their individual category win for ‘Budgens Forecourt Store of the Year’.

Phil Smith, Managing Director Budgens, said. “The development of the Budgens brand is vital. Consumers are shopping more often, they’re shopping locally and we therefore need to focus on ensuring that the Budgens brand is distinctive and relevant for its customers and bring ‘real food for today’s communities’ to life. We have to deliver that with a clarity that doesn’t just delight our customers but that also allows us to build strong and profitable businesses effectively and efficiently.” 

He added “We have the opportunity to be inclusive and serve an entire local community – not just by selling food, but by being a part of that community. We are steered by the three guiding principles of developing our brands, achieving lowest cost and creating the best team. This leads us to focus on our ways of working together, getting the best offer, having the right product ranges and mix of local products, pricing and promotions for the quality, great value fresh food we offer. In doing this we’ll emerge stronger – not just stronger than before, but stronger than our competitors.”

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