Southwater store shortlisted for major national award

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Londis Southwater and Post Office has been recognised as one of the best news and convenience stores in the UK at a leading event for independent retailers.

Seventeen retailers from across the UK and Ireland have been recognised at betterRetailing LIVE for their commitment to core principles of retailing, from customer service through to retail innovation.

With 12 categories ranging from environmental sustainability to retail innovation, the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) shortlist was reached following a two month judging process. The rigorous evaluation process by the IAA and partners included a comprehensive entry and mystery shop assessment.

The Southwater store has been shortlisted in the Staff Development, Marketing to Customers, Environmental Sustainability and Shop Layout categories.

Sales from this sector currently total £37.46bn and represents a fifth of the UK grocery market. The sector has experienced growth of more than 5 per cent in the past year and is predicted to grow a further 30 per cent in the next five years.

Stefan Appleby, editor of Retail Express and co-chair of the industry judging panel at betterRetailing LIVE, said: “We have seen significant growth in sales from news and convenience stores and research suggests that customers now prefer to shop locally with people they know.

“We were impressed by Londis Southwater and Post Office as they showed how they dedicated time to making sure they get their offer right for their shoppers.

“The brilliant business skills of the men and women in all our shortlist, combined with the evidence we have gathered from their shops, prove that the Independent Achievers Academy’s toolkit of ideas help retailers develop new ways to grow their profits.”

The IAA says it is the only business programme that both develops and rewards independent news and convenience retailers. Every year a shortlist of 100 of the top performers in the sector are identified and each of the top performers are then considered for the final 12 categories.

Twelve winners as well as an overall ‘Top Shop’ champion will be announced at the prestigious IAA Gala Dinner in London on November 26.

The event will be presented by Retail entrepreneur and best-selling author Jeff Pearce.