SPAR Malone Road in South Belfast has brought home the only NI award from the prestigious Convenience Awards, which took place recently in Manchester.

The store was one of 19 national award-winners on the night, taking home the gong for Multiple Managed Convenience Store of the Year thanks to their focus on customer services driving sales for the store.

Judges noted the store’s commitment to shopper loyalty, noting it was “driven by a strong grocery offering and in-store services options to keep shoppers coming back”, which resulted in a 19% year-on-year increase in weekly store sales.

Mark McCammond, Retail Director at Henderson Group which operates the store said the win puts Henderson Retail as one of the top convenience operators in the UK.

Mark commented; “SPAR Malone is a store which services several categories of shoppers, from residents to students, meaning we have the freshest products available for tonight’s tea alongside an outstanding offering of hot and cold food to go.

“The store represents what we are achieving in our outlets across Northern Ireland under the SPAR and EUROSPAR brands, bringing a competitive convenience offering complemented by services and facilities that improve the shopping experience, from the installation of self-check-outs to improving the range of fresh and convenient brands and products available in-store, alongside an upgraded Barista Bar coffee to go experience.

“We are delighted to bring home the award, our colleagues in SPAR Malone are the driving factor of the store’s brilliant financial performance and without the fantastic team spirit, drive and determination seen in store daily, such success would not be possible.”

The finalists in the Multiple Managed Convenience Store of the Year included stores from Kent and Lancashire, plus EUROSPAR Ashbury in Bangor, Co. Down.

Aidan Fortune, Editor of Convenience Store added; “Congratulations to Henderson Retail and all the team at SPAR Malone. The store is clearly much more than a convenience store with the feeling of a community neighbourhood retailer, and SPAR Malone is a one stop shop for everything a customer may need. Our judges were impressed by the operator’s attention towards catering for a wide variety of needs, while also keeping shoppers at the forefront of change with their ‘tell us first’ initiative, allowing management to evolve quickly towards shopper needs, helping to create a more positive and welcoming shopper experience.”

Mr Fortune added; “This year’s Convenience Award winners demonstrated that the industry continues to raise the bar in delivering exceptional experiences for customers. Their success is not only a recognition of their hard work, but also a testament to their unwavering dedication to staying at the forefront of the industry.”