Columbus IGA gets big nod
Matovich’s Columbus IGA Plus has been recognized as a 2015 Retailer of the Year.
The annual IGA awards recognize local IGA retailers for cleanliness, product mix, overall organization of the store, competitive pricing within the market, involvement in the community, and leadership and development within the store and employees, according to Columbus IGA co-owner and pharmacist Mike Matovich.
Columbus IGA is one of only three IGA stores in the United States and seven stores internationally to receive the award this year. The other U.S. award winners were stores in Marble Hill, Georgia and Brookville, Ohio. The international winners were stores in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, Caribbean; Portland, Victoria, Australia; Shengyang, Liaoning, China; and Xiangtan, Hunan, China.
This is the second time Columbus IGA has won the Retailer of the Year award. The store also won in 2002.
Matovich said the process involves IGA sending representatives from Chicago to inspect the local stores and talk with employees and customers.
Columbus IGA is a family business that was started in the 1960s by Matovich’s grandfather. Matovich said his grandfather hammered through to his father, Paul, who in turn hammered it through to him that you put more back into the store and community than you take home.
Matovich credits the award to Columbus IGA’s employees and the community.
Local stores not alone
Owner Paul Matovich said it is important for a local retailer to be part of a larger alliance like IGA.
“You’ve got to have those people behind you,” he said.
IGA and wholesaler SUPERVALU assist local retailers with programs, advertisements, merchandising, and working with manufacturers, he said.
The IGA alliance includes nearly 5,000 independent retailers worldwide. IGA stores are located in 46 U.S. states and more than 30 countries, commonwealths, and territories around the world.