GROCERY shop owners have bagged a major industry award after taking over the store this year.
Premier on Wych Lane won newcomer of the year at the Retail Industry Awards - an award that celebrates excellence in grocery retail.
Owner Imtiyaz Mamode and his wife Supriya Namdeo attended a ceremony at The Brewery in London on September 17 when they were announced as winners in one of the 26 categories.
The judges said they were impressed with the store’s financial performance and the way Imtiyaz used Facebook to build up a substantial online following, keep shoppers informed about his offers and to ask for feedback to improve the range of products in-store.
One of the judges at the ceremony said: ‘It’s always difficult to regain customers when a store has been closed for a while, but he’s done a brilliant job.’
Another added: ‘The moment a customer walks into the shop, he’s not giving them a single reason to go to another store – he’s got everything there.
“He’s come into the industry with a real bang.’
Imtiyaz was also praised for keeping up with the latest trends, including installing a Tango ice-blast machine, freshly-baked pizza-to-go, as well as traditional American sweets.
The shopkeeper thanked the customers of the shop for helping them win the award.
He said: ‘Thank you everyone for cheering and supporting Wych Lane Premier shop. We really feel proud to get this award in just six months after opening the shop and competed with shops all around the UK and it wouldn't be possible without your support.
‘You have made us treats and helped in our difficult days. We are proud to serve you all and everyone is our family. We promise you to keep up the good work.’
He took over the store in February of this year after it had previously been closed for three years and they have built the business from the ground up.
There are now five members of staff and they have a weekly turnover of over £21,000.
Imtiyaz shared a video of them picking up the award on the shop’s Facebook page, generating a lot of positive feedback from customers who said it was ‘well deserved’.