The 2019 Convenience Retail Awards was a night to remember for SPAR UK, with eight awards being won by the group, reflecting the ongoing investment in the retail offer across the business.

The event took place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London in a show-stopping night of glitz and glamour. The eight SPAR awards were:

  • Sales Assistant of the Year 2019: Fiona Addis, EUROSPAR Ardglass, Northern Ireland

Customer advisor, Fiona Addis, awed the judges with her selfless community work and genuine compassion for local people which she showed every day in a variety of ways.  Combined with her stellar store work, including manning the deli, boosting the number of home delivery accounts and making customers smile and spend at the tills, made Fiona the clear front-runner for this high-profile accolade.

  • Community Hero Award: Lyndsay Howden, SPAR Bradley, Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Store supervisor, Lyndsay Howden-Smith, won the Community Hero award thanks to her tireless work in the local community. In 2018 alone, Lyndsay helped more than 100 local organisations, from feeding Grimsby’s homeless community to organising Christmas gift bags for children in care homes.

  • Best New Store: SPAR Eat17 Hammersmith, London

The SPAR Eat17 store in West London, owned by retailer James Brundle, was praised for its indoor and outdoor seating areas, and array of instore street food concessions. The ranges on offer include barista coffee, gourmet burgers and pizza, as well as around 150 different SKUs available in refillable and packaging-free formats.

  • Best Large Convenience Store: EUROSPAR Donegall Road, Belfast

EUROSPAR Donegall Road was commended by judges for its ‘exceptional and innovative food range’ under the Daily Deli branding. The offering includes an Asian street food bar, salad bar, chicken bar and burger bar. The judges also commented on the store’s ‘stunning glass-fronted design’ and light, spacious interior.

  • Best Independent Convenience Store: SPAR Princess Street, Manchester

Paul Stone’s store in Princess Street was hailed by judges as having moved on from its status as Best New Store in the 2016 awards, to become ‘arguably the best overall performer in the SPAR Stone group’. The 24-hour store meets the needs of residents, university students and city commuters in a hurry with its strong mix of fresh and ambient grocery, licensed drinks and Food-to-Go.

  • Best Chilled Food Retailer: McBride’s SPAR Mullaghmore, Omagh, Northern Ireland

The store is a pioneering modern convenience store, offering a superb deli with hot and cold food throughout the day as well as a new Rotisserie chicken solution. The store has overseen a sales rise in all categories through analysis and re-merchandising which has boosted margins whilst the food service teams have ensured similar results were achieved in fresh.

  • Food-to-Go Retailer of the Year (large store): EUROSPAR Donegall Road, Belfast

This very attractive large supermarket was opened by SPAR UK Partner, Henderson Group, in December 2017 and is situated in a densely populated low-income area of south Belfast, located on a main arterial route, serving a mix of students, local residents and medical professionals. It has high store standards and offers an exceptional and innovative Food-to-Go range under the Daily Deli branding, including an Asian street food bar, salad bar and burger bar.

  • Best Communication to Shoppers: SPAR Loughbrickland, Co Down, Northern Ireland

The Beckett brothers converted an old village church to a SPAR store, opening in June 2017. Sales have risen significantly year-on-year, driven by the strong fresh and Food-to-Go offer, including some excellent local ranges. The brothers have an innovative and proactive approach to retailing. The store has a lot of character and engages extremely well with shoppers.