Personal service, attention to detail and having the right values were three pieces of advice Laura Tenison, founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, shared with the UK’s top independent news and convenience retailers at the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) Gala Dinner in London last night.

“The Academy is a fabulous support to independent local stores,” said Laura Tenison, after sharing her own experience of founding an independent retail company with just £2,000 at her kitchen table and growing it to sales of more than £44million a year.

This year’s winner of the overall award for best shop was Eddie Poole of Poole’s SuperValu in Moira, Co. Armagh. He was a finalist in five categories this year, winning three of them. Through his innovative and environmentally conscious approach, Eddie has enhanced SuperValu’s reputation as a thriving shop that truly cares about its suppliers and customers.

“This year we have seen record numbers of retailers requesting to take part in our Academy in Action store visits and an amazing 46% of entrants to the Academy are new faces,” said Hayley Pavlou, Project Manager. “As we journeyed through the assessment process, what impressed the judges the most was how hungry retailers are for success and what can be achieved when you set your mind on a goal.  It was fantastic to see so many retailers being recognised for their outstanding achievements last night.”

Award winning David Charman, of SPAR Parkfoot Garages Ltd, said “We are so thrilled to have won the Availability award.  Bringing the award back to our team in the shop has been the best bit – they are so happy that their hard work has been recognised in an independently judged process.  We can’t wait to enter next year!”

The Gala Dinner marks the end of this year’s eight month Academy programme, supported by 12 of the UK’s leading suppliers to the independent convenience channel. A total of 18 retailers were shortlisted for the awards, which recognise best practice in 12 operational areas where shopkeepers need to excel to grow sales and profits.

And the winners are:

Shop Layout

Sponsored by Heineken

Paul & Pinda Cheema, Malcolm’s Store Costcutter, Coventry

 

Merchandising

Sponsored by Wrigley

Eddie Poole, Poole’s SuperValu Moira, Co. Armagh

 

Effective Ranging

Sponsored by Coca-Cola Enterprises

Rav Garcha, Nisa Local Gains Park, Shrewsbury

 

Availability

Sponsored by Imperial Tobacco

David Charman, SPAR Parkfoot Garages Ltd, Kent

 

Customer Service

Sponsored by Red Bull

Roli Ranger, Londis Ascot, Ascot

 

In-Store Theatre

Sponsored by Camelot

Chris Rolfe, The Market Square Food & Wine, East Sussex

 

Service To The Community

Sponsored by Booker

Kishore Chandarana, Premier Tara’s News, High Wycombe

 

Marketing To Customers

Sponsored by Mondelez International

Daniel Cock, Premier Whitstone Village Stores, Devon

 

Environmental Sustainability

Sponsored by News UK

Eddie Poole, Poole’s SuperValu Moira, Co. Armagh

 

Responsible Retailing

Sponsored by JTI

Yogendra Sonchhatla, Premier SNA Supermarket, Southampton

 

Retail Innovation

Sponsored by The Retail Data Partnership

Bob and Sue Young, Robin Hill Stores, Dorset

 

Staff Development

Sponsored by NFRN

Eddie Poole, Poole’s SuperValu Moira, Co. Armagh

 

Overall Best Shop

Eddie Poole, Poole’s SuperValu Moira, Co. Armagh