A few hours into last week’s Independent Achievers Academy awards judging, my group was debating which retailer to give the fourth and last finalist spot in the Service to the Community category to. There were two we couldn’t decide between and were weighing up the evidence.

Richard Finch from Elevate described the process the mystery shoppers went through when giving both shops full points, so we could be confident both were fantastic shops.

The success that these stores have achieved shows that any store can find ways to grow, be better and sell more too.

Simply Fresh boss Kash Khera shared the logistics and work that each would have put into running their various community events and sponsorships. Craig Clarkson from Heineken, meanwhile, looked at how well their ranges best served their communities’ needs. In the end we went for the one we felt lived and breathed their role in the community every day.

It was one of the moments I enjoyed most from the day as it showed what a unique proposition the IAA is. The Academy sits at the heart of Newtrade’s business. This is because the 12 IAA categories can be found within virtually every story or feature we write, every event we run and every bit of advice we give.

As Newtrade managing director Nick Shanagher told the judges in his opening remarks, retailers take part in the Independent Achievers Academy to become a better shop and good shops sell more.

What was consistent among the 61 retailers from which we chose our 31 finalists was their willingness to learn, invest their time in reading, talk to their peers, work with suppliers and implement new ideas to give their customers a better experience every day.

The success that these stores have achieved shows that any store can find ways to grow, be better and sell more too.

 

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