Mr Marks retained his number one slot in the ‘local stores’ category, but also entered the more significant ‘multiples list’ as a new entry at number two, second only to Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco.
The magazine described Mr Marks and the Group as having had a “massive year” and the judges added: “The transformation of the Group is so total, the execution so impressive and the plans so exciting, that he demands to sit on the top table alongside the big four.”
The society is congratulated on the speed of the integration process since last summer’s merger with United Co-operatives and contrasts the speedy rebranding and refitting of stores with the “painful experience” suffered by Morrisons after it acquired the Safeway chain.
The Grocer also highlighted the like-for-like sales growth (in double digits for rebranded stores); the rejuvenation of the brand, attracting younger customers; and the successful updating of the Group’s eco-credentials in response to the green offerings from M&S, Tesco and others.
Said Mr Marks: “This is terrific recognition of everything all of us have been doing since the merger. It affirms that those watching us closely can see the sea-change we are undergoing and are confident of our future success.”