IGA NAMES RETAILERS OF THE YEAR

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- IGA will honor five retailers with its 2004 International Retailers of the Year award tomorrow evening at a special awards dinner during its IGA Global Summit here this week, March 14 to 17.d Graham Legge, IGA Tuckerbag Moss Vale, Moss Vale, Australia.Bill Benzing, executive vice president and chief growth officer for the Chicago-based IGA, said, "Our 2004 International Retailers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- IGA will honor five retailers with its 2004 International Retailers of the Year award tomorrow evening at a special awards dinner during its IGA Global Summit here this week, March 14 to 17.

d Graham Legge, IGA Tuckerbag Moss Vale, Moss Vale, Australia.

Bill Benzing, executive vice president and chief growth officer for the Chicago-based IGA, said, "Our 2004 International Retailers of the Year are being honored for their supreme dedication to the IGA System and the Hometown Proud communities they serve."

The five winners, who operate one to three stores in their markets, generated $55 million in total sales volume during 2003. Each has achieved a five-star IGA assessment rating (above 90%), an unbiased rating of the retailer's operation. The rating includes an evaluation of the store facility, sanitation, technology, safety and marketing.

IGA selects its winners based on the most points scored in several criteria, which include the assessment rating, their involvement in IGA marketing events, brand support, merchandising, innovation, leadership, employment development, wholesaler partnerships and community involvement.

Retailers are nominated by IGA's licensed distribution companies. Nominees are further evaluated by IGA's area directors. A committee of area directors and additional IGA executives select the winners.

The winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to San Antonio, Oct. 22-24. The trip is being sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Nestle USA, and Unilever Home & Personal Care - North America.

In addition to the Retailers of the Year, IGA will honor Charles Kensler of Copiague IGA, Copiague, N.Y., and Jim Baillie, Stein's Troy IGA, Troy, Mont., with store manager awards. IGA is recognized as the world's largest voluntary supermarket network with aggregate retail sales of more than $21 billion per year. The Alliance includes more than 4,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution companies, and more than 55 major manufacturers, vendors and suppliers. IGA has operations in 48 states and more than 40 countries, commonwealths and territories on all six inhabited continents.