Apex Store in Etal Way, Kenton fought off competition from 360 independent retailers across England and Wales to pick up £11,000 worth of prize money to spend in Blakemore Wholesale’s Gateshead Cash amp; Carry.
Blakemore’s Retailer of the Year reward stores that maintain excellent standards and service with outlets judged across a wide range of criteria including internal and external standards, customer relationships, product range, merchandising and local community involvement.
Blakemore Wholesale sales director and competition judge, Tony Bromwich, said of the winning Apex Store: “The standards to which the store operates, the friendliness of the staff, and the mutual relationship with their customers made the judges’ decision easy.”
Winning store owners (pictured with Blakemore’s Bromwich) Chris Blake and Stephen Ridden said: “This has given us such a boost that we have begun searching for a second store!”
Apex Store received £1,000 worth of credit to spend at Gateshead Cash amp; Carry for being a regional winner and £10,000 worth of depot credit for being this year’s overall Retailer of the Year. Blakemore Wholesale also donated £200 to the store’s charity of choice, the NSPCC.
Belle Vue Convenience in Middlesbrough and Hallett’s in Grimsby were this year’s competition runners up. In addition to a national winner, nine regional winners and five category winners were also selected. A total prize fund of £40,000 was provided by sponsors Britvic, Heineken, JTI, Unilever and Mars.
Sales Director Tony Bromwich added: “The standard of all our regional winners and national finalists was very high, so congratulations and recognition must also go to these retailers. Thanks must go to our supplier partners too for their continued support of our Retailer of the Year programme.”