California-Based Independent Grocer Receives IGA International Retailer of the Year Award

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The California Independent Grocers Associations (CIGA) congratulates one of its members Â? Louis Young of Payless IGA Markets in Copperopolis Â? for winning the IGA International Retailer of the Year Award.

The California Independent Grocers Associations (CIGA) congratulates one of its members – Louis Young of Payless IGA Markets in Copperopolis – for winning the IGA International Retailer of the Year Award. Payless Markets are part of IGA’s supermarket network – the largest U.S.-based global supermarketer – with aggregate worldwide sales of more than $21 billion per year. Mr. Young will receive his award at a ceremony scheduled for March 1 in Palm Springs.

“Louis Young of Payless Markets was selected out of 4,400 IGA retailers worldwide - from across the U.S. to as far away as Australia,” says Sharon Paxton, CIGA’s Executive Director. “It’s a well-deserved accomplishment,” she says, adding “Everyone who knows Louis admires his genuine passion for his profession. He’s truly an inspiration within his community and industry.”

Payless Markets were selected by IGA executives and food industry professionals for their outstanding expertise ranging from leadership and innovation to hometown involvement and employee development – qualities all at the heart of Payless Markets’ success.

Louis Young has been a leader within the grocery industry as an active member of CIGA for nearly 25 years, with much of that time dedicated to serving on the board of directors. Louis States that CIGA keeps him closely connected to legislative issues affecting independent grocers, and he makes it a point to provide input and get involved whenever possible. Mr. Young has also been on the Progressive Grocer Honor Roll of Independent Grocers several times, and has received the Big T Outstanding Retailer award. The Quality Travelers Club has often named him Grocer of the Year.

Mr. Young is also a well-renowned leader within local and adjoining communities, and has received many outstanding service awards for his dedication and commitment. He has received the Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards from the local Chamber of Commerce several times, and also received a Legislative Proclamation. Mr. Young is most proud of the contributions he’s made to youth organizations like Cub Scouts, 4H, and local schools. Payless Markets have been instrumental in helping schools acquire encyclopedias, video cameras, computers and playground equipment, living up to its reputation for being “Hometown Proud.”

Payless Markets employ up to 170 employees in three stores, and Louis Young believes in treating staff, “the way we’d all like to be treated - like family.” “We make every attempt possible to maximize each person’s potential,” he states, adding “most of our managers have been with us for 15 to 25 years.” Payless Markets offer full benefits “equal or better” than union stores to staff.

The latest innovation at Payless Markets revolves around the staff, and Mr. Young says he’s never seen anything have such a positive impact on employee confidence in his life. “IGA provides a great training program via email, and all employees – from the most seasoned to the brand new – must go through the training process,” he states. “From courtesy clerks to store managers, everyone receives a certificate at the end of the program. We hang every certificate on the wall to show our staff how proud we are of their commitment.”

When asked what attribute was key to the success of Payless Markets, Mr. Young answered simply, “We will always treat our customers and employees like friends.”

Headquartered in Sacramento, California, CIGA continues to represent the Independent Retail Food Industry since the early 1900s. Today, more than 1,200 independent grocers and supplier companies make up its membership. CIGA’s vision is to be the best possible association by promoting, supporting, educating, protecting, and fulfilling the needs of the independent grocer.

For more information, call Sharon Paxton at (916) 929-9741.

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