Retail Industry Awards 2016 – Winners

October 31, 2016 4:15 pm

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This year Stone Spar Group were nominated and won the prestigious award for Independent Retailer of the Year Award at the 2016 Retail Industry Awards!

A new store that has been trading for just 14 months, Paul Stone’s SPAR outlet on Princess Street in central Manchester has a big emphasis on the shopper missions of ‘feed me now’ and ‘tonight’s tea’.

The 24-hour store has been laid out in a series of zones to reflect these key missions and even incorporates a seating area, hot food-to-go and its own coffee brand, The Cheeky Coffee Co. Almost half the sales area is given over to the ‘feed me now’ mission, after research showed this was key for more than half of its potential shoppers.

 The 2,400sq ft store has installed USB charging points and free Wi-Fi, which has proved very popular with both business people and the area’s student population.

In response to the decline in traditional categories, Stone has focused too on developing the store’s fresh food offer, which now accounts for nearly 30% of sales.

Judges praised the clearly defined offer and “great merchandising”. They loved the bold food-to-go offer and the high standards that were maintained throughout the store.

“It’s a cracking store and the numbers show that,” commented one panel member. “It’s an absolutely fantastic store and one you feel very comfortable in,” added another.

he judges liked the fact that Stone had introduced his own innovations, such as the Cheeky Coffee Co, and had really “put his own stamp on the business” as a result.

“He’s perfected the art of getting his consumer proposition exactly right and has just about nailed running a city centre store,” said a judge. “It’s a world-class operation and his execution is flawless.”

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