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SPAR Crowned Symbol Group of the Year at Retail Industry Awards

October 02, 2018


SPAR has been crowned Symbol/Fascia Group of the Year at the 2018 Retail Industry Awards.

SPAR emerged victorious from this year’s judging thanks to another stellar performance over the past 12 months that saw sales rise by 5% year on year as the group continued to help its retailers deliver top-class store standards and keep in touch with the latest consumer trends.

The sixth consecutive year of growth for SPAR saw the group invest more than £15m in a marketing programme that included social media, sampling and point-of-sale, as well as a comprehensive support package for its newly launched stores.

This was underpinned by further development of the SPAR own-label, including the launch of a new range of own-brand wines.

Judges felt the group remained “strong and stable” within a volatile market, with a great all-round package. “They really do tick all the boxes,” said one.

The wine range was also a big hit with the panel, who praised its modern look and clear message to consumers. “They lead the sector when it comes to wine,” said a judge.

In the Meridian & Welsh Guild, SPAR London Road, run by independent retailer Jacqui Dales, won the title of Store Team of the Year.

Since being shortlisted at the 2017 Retail Industry Awards, the team at the store in Boston, Lincolnshire, have focused on training schemes to give all members of staff the chance to complete different tasks in-store.

Every member of staff attends a SPARkling Service course within three months of joining and all staff members have completed training in age-related sales, health and safety, and customer service.

The judges praised the store for its dedication to training. “It just goes to show what can happen when you invest in your staff,” said one judge.

The team has done well in the mystery shopper programme and employees who do particularly well are rewarded with a one-off bonus payment. The store has increased its customer service scores from 75% to 97%, which the judges found very impressive.

Blakemore Retail was also highly commended in the Multiple Community Retailer of the Year and Multiple Food-to-Go Retailer of the Year categories.


The Store Team of the Year winners: SPAR London Road


Pictured above: SPAR UK Trading Director Chris Lewis (left), SPAR UK Managing Director Debbie Robinson and SPAR UK Retail Director Ian Taylor (right) collect the Symbol Group of the Year award


Here is the full list of finalists and winners across the Meridian & Welsh Guild:

Multiple Community Retailer of the Year

Highly Commended
Blakemore Retail

Store Team of the Year

SPAR London Road Bakery, Boston, Lincolnshire

Post Office Retailer of the Year

Highly Commended in the Managed Store category
Stonydelph Post Office, Tamworth, Staffordshire (Blakemore Retail)

Food-to-Go Retailer of the Year

Highly Commended in the Multiple category
Blakemore Retail

Forecourt Retailer of the Year

Highly Commended in the Company-owned category
SPAR Laceby Lodge, Grimsby, Lincolnshire (Blakemore Retail)

Independent Retailer of the Year

Highly Commended in the Up to 1,200 sq ft category
SPAR London Road, Boston, Lincolnshire

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