APCO Café 24/7 in Wangaratta, Victoria has been named the NACS Asia Pacific Convenience Retailer of the Year.

The awards were held last week at the NACS Asia Pacific Convenience Summit in Singapore, which was attended by APCO Director Peter Anderson and the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) CEO, Theo Foukkare.

Founded in 1961, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is based in the US and is the largest and oldest representative for convenience and fuel retailers globally.

NACS segments its global retail awards into two zones – the Asia Pacific Region and the European Region. The Asia Pacific Region includes all of Asia, India, Australia, and New Zealand.

Each year, the winner from the AACS Store of the Year Award is entered into the NACS Asia Pacific Region, which meant that this year Australia was well represented with APCO Wangaratta and Shell Urbanista Colyton being joint local winners.

Both stores finished in the top three, with APCO Wangaratta ultimately taking out the top gong.

APCO Directors, Robert, Peter, Ron, and Margaret Anderson, along with the APCO Wangaratta Retailers Brett and Karen Anderson were stunned to have their service station named the Asia-Pacific Convenience Store of the Year by NACS.

Brett Anderson said: “We are in shock. We like to provide a good service to our locals and the people who pass through Wangaratta, but we never dreamed we’d be named the best convenience store in Victoria or even Australia, never mind the Asia Pacific.”

APCO Service Station Director Peter Anderson expressed the team’s great pride in accepting the award.

“Brett and Karen are a big part in this because without their passion it would not have happened. But it is also the team, everybody at head office, retail partners and the last few franchisees we have has played a part.”

Brett and Karen Anderson

APCO Service Station Director Robert Anderson, said he was extremely proud of all the team, both at the support office and APCO Wangaratta to achieve this acknowledgement and amazing award recognition. 

“I’m extremely proud of all the team. It is a testament to the collective effort of everyone to share a vision and then bring this to life, and importantly this is a well-deserved award for Brett and Karen Anderson, our Retail Partners that pride themselves and passionate on providing an incredible customer experience.”

AACS CEO Theo Foukkare said it was amazing to see Australian retailers take centre stage at the NACS Awards.

“It was such an amazing experience to see the pure shock, emotion, and joy on Peter Anderson’s face after they were announced as the winners. It showed me how much he still loves APCO after so many years, and he said this would have to be one of the proudest moments in his and the company’s life.”

Eddy Nader, Managing Director of NPG Retail – Urbanista Café & Convenience, said it was an honour to be recognised as a finalist for their Colyton store, and praised his son Tadros for his vision for the site.

“It was awesome to see two Aussie family owned independent retailers make the top three and even better that the award was won by our fellow Aussies, the team at APCO Service Stations Wangaratta.

“To my son Tadros Nader, Colyton was not a bad first up effort. Co-winning the AACS Independent Store of the Year and Overall Store of the Year awards and being named as a finalist in the NACS Award is something special. You did it in two years, it took me thirty plus years,” he said.

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