Palmer & Harvey has unveiled Hollins Green Community Shop in Warrington as the second winner of its Retailer of the Month scheme.
The year-long scheme has been designed to recognise excellence in the independent retail community and promote upcoming stars. Each winner receives 90 outers of free product from P&H’s Independent brand range.
The community store is run by manager Julie Atkinson (pictured) and her team of four paid staff and 30 volunteers. The non-profit making entity, which has been a Palmer and Harvey customer since January 2015, was recognised for its “cutting-edge youth engagement projects, championing of the independent sector and commitment to providing extra value to its customer base”.
The judges said that since opening, “Hollins Green Community Shop has firmly established itself as a hub at the heart of the local community.” In addition to serving as a convenience store, the shop offers free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities for the village’s pensioners, as well as providing a much-needed book exchange following the closure of the local mobile library, which has proved to be an extremely successful footfall driver.
The not-for-profit store is also collaborating with the local primary school to educate schoolchildren on retailing and is in the process of creating on-site fruit and vegetable allotments which will be tended to by the schoolchildren before being placed in the shop for general sale.
In addition it sells produce from independent brewers, local butchers and bakers, with all profits rolled back into investing in the shop’s future and local community projects.
Jez Pegg, P&H sales and marketing director said: “While Hollins Green Community Shop is a relatively new business they have already made a clear impression on the local community. In just four months Julie and her team’s proactive approach to providing a variety of added-value initiatives has brought the shop to our attention. We wish them every success in their continued efforts to reinvigorate and improve their local community and look forward to supporting them moving forward.”
Julie Atkinson added: “Hollins Green Community Shop has become a real hub for the village, where people can enjoy a friendly conversation over a hot drink and a slice of homemade cake. I pride myself in offering a friendly face and unique customer service. As our store motto says, ‘it’s your community, it’s your village, it’s your shop’.”