Only six months after opening its new flagship store, Green + Benz has scooped the coveted title of retailer of the year at the 2016 Chesterfield Retail Awards.
The awards which returned for the third year running were the biggest yet are organised by Destination Chesterfield and saw four retailers – Adorn Jewellers, R P Davidson Cheese Factor, Libby’s and Debenhams, retain their 2015 titles
As well as retailer of the year, Green + Benz also took the title of best new store following the relocation of its Chesterfield store on Glumangate to120sqm of premium retail space on South Street in December last year.
The increased space means Green + Benz can accommodate an open shop floor, a private viewing room and a workshop for bespoke commissions.
Inside, the store boasts luxurious leather and velvet upholstery, glittering chandeliers and individual branded display bays which are framed by polished chrome edge details and numerous mirrors, which all adds to the overall sense of glamour of the store. Figures for Green + Benz showed a 68% overall growth in prior year sales results in December 2015 following the opening of the new store.
Manager of the Chesterfield store, Abi Noakes was presented with both awards at the sell-out award ceremony, which was held at the town’s Winding Wheel venue and hosted by Peak FM breakfast show presenters Cat and Stu.
Abi said: “We’re so overwhelmed and very proud and happy to receive the awards. It means so much that the awards have come from Chesterfield and everybody in Chesterfield. We really try and strive to make our clients ultra-happy and give them the best service that we can.”
Peter Swallow, Chairman of Destination Chesterfield said: “Once again the retail awards were a huge success and highlighted how strong Chesterfield’s retail scene is.
"The town has an excellent mix of independent and high street retailers as well as an historic market and a key reason why so many people, locally and nationally, visit each year.
"It’s a winning mix that consistently sees Chesterfield buck the trend for shop vacancy rates, contributing significantly to our growing economy.”
The winners of the 2016 Chesterfield Retail Awards are:
- Excellence in customer service – Sponsored by Chatsworth - Adorn Jewellers
“We’re over the moon to be Chesterfield’s Jewellery and Accessories Retailer of the Year and winner of Excellence in Customer Service again. We’re so excited and thank you to our customers who we do it for, they’re the reason we do it.” Laura-Jo Davies, Owner of Adorn Jewellers
- Market trader of the year - sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council - Jo-anne Harrop (Ladies cosmetics, hair extensions and accessories)
“I’ve been on Chesterfield market for 12 years. The customers are absolutely lovely and all the colleagues I work with are really nice. Chesterfield Council are marvellous people to work with and they’ve helped me build my business. I’m absolutely thrilled to get this award.” Jo-anne Harrop, owner of Jo-anne Harrop
- Best new store (Opened 2015/2016) – Sponsored by Banner Jones Solicitors - Green + Benz
- Hair and beauty business of the year – sponsored by The Chesterfield College Group - Burlingtons Hair Salon
“We’re so proud to have won Hair and Beauty Business of the Year in Chesterfield. It’s such a strong category. It’s a team effort, we’re like a family and we’re so proud. We’ve been open for a year and it’s been a real journey these last few months. All of us together have been learning how to work the business. It’s all been worth it, it’s fabulous.” Vicky Wilson, Director of Burlingtons Hair Salon
- Fashion and tootwear retailer of the year – sponsored by In the Works PR - Peter’s Shoemakers & Outfitters
“We’re really proud to have won the award. it’s amazing. We try really hard. We look for things that are different and we like to treat people well and give them extraordinary experiences.” Peter Bullock, owner of Peter’s Shoemakers & Outfitters
- Jewellery and accessories retailer of the year – Sponsored by the Pavements Shopping - Adorn Jewellers Centre
- Home and gifts retailer of the year - Libby’s
“To win the award a second time is absolutely fantastic. It’s down to the fact that I work with the best team in the world and I’m very, very lucky. We all work well together.” Libby Morris, Owner of Libby’s
- Children's clothes, toys and accessories retailer of the year – sponsored by Custom Solar - Debenhams
“It feels absolutely amazing to win the award twice in a row. It just shows how much our customers think of us and how much we’re thought of in the town.” Natalie Collins, Store Manager, Debenhams Chesterfield
- Food and drink retailer of the year – Sponsored by BHP Accountants - RP Davidson Cheese Factor
"It’s absolutely amazing to have won again. We try and give service, quality and value for money to our customers and that really sets us apart. I think businesses need to evolve to keep them interesting for people. For customers coming in and for the staff as well.” Simon Davidson, Proprietor, RP Davidson Cheese Factor
- Phones and technology retailer of the year – Sponsored by Mitchells Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers - Three
“Three is part of a national retailer but within Chesterfield we take pride in dealing with our customers as if they’re family and friends. We deliver the type of customer service that we’d expect to receive for our own family.” Martin Walsh, Store Manager, Three
- Leisure retailer of the year (sports, hobbies, crafts or rutdoor) – Sponsored by Peak FM - StraightCurves
“It’s absolutely fantastic to win. We couldn’t have done it without everyone at StraightCurves, the team and the customers.” Karen Rogers, Owner, Straightcurves
- Independent retailer of the year – Sponsored by Jumble Design - RP Davidson Cheese Factor
- National/multiple retailer of the year – Sponsored by Vicar Lane - Specsavers
“We are very honoured. It has taken us a while to get here. We have finally reached the position that we want to be in and it’s very rewarding to know that our efforts are being acknowledged with this award. We have put a lot more time into developing our team and getting direct feedback from our customers to assess how we do in our marketplace.” Naz Hassen, Director, Specsavers
- Market Hall business of the year – sponsored by Arvato - Lamb’s Cupcakes
“We’re so delighted to win. My wife makes the best cupcakes in Chesterfield and we care about each customer that we serve and each and every product that we make. Everything is made in our shop with loving care.” Richard Lamb, joint owner of Lamb’s Cupcakes
- Vicar Lane Shopping retailer of the year - River Island
“It feels great to have won the award, I’m really, really proud. Our customer service really sets us apart because we’re really passionate about our customers.” Vicky Fryer, Store Manager of River Island
- Pavements Shopping Centre retailer of the year - Full Monty and Warren James Jewellery
The awards are supported by members of the business community, who not only sponsored individual awards but also the actual ceremony.
As well as the category sponsors, other supporters of the 2016 Chesterfield Retail Awards included the University of Derby, eBusiness Works and the Derbyshire Times.