As any manager will tell you, a good sales assistant is worth their weight in gold. Which is why we're looking to honour those stars of the shop floor in our Sales Assistant of the Year 2007 competition.
It could be you or, if you're a manager, a member of your staff who picks up the trophy at the awards ceremony at a top London venue in November. As well as the honour of knowing you or your staff are the best in the country, winners will receive cash prizes plus a night in a top hotel. Up for grabs are £3,000-worth of prizes with £500 for the winner of each of the five categories and a further £500 for the overall winner. The overall Sales Assistant of the Year 2007 will also receive a specially engraved trophy as a permanent reminder of their achievement.
Last year's winner, Felicity Brown of Tates Spar Northgate in Aberystwyth, says that she's enjoying every minute of her reign as Sales Assistant of the Year 2006. "It's just been great. Winning has made me even more enthusiastic about my work and I think because I won I've been considered for more interesting things."
While she continues to work in the same store, she's also spending more time travelling around Wales and England to other stores, looking at how they operate and train staff as part of her management training course. "The training has just been great - I get to meet new people and I love passing on what I've learnt."
She says she hopes to have her own store within a year.
Felicity impressed the judges with her professionalism and understanding of all aspects of her store. She showed that she was willing to go the extra mile in terms of service. She says she spent her prize money on a holiday to New Zealand, but got right back into her role when she returned and would certainly consider entering all over again: "I really loved the day - the dinner and going out the night before and the hotel, of course! I've had such a positive reaction from everyone - it's been amazing."
So if you think you have Felicity's spirit we would like to hear from you. Claim your entry pack either by phone (tel 01293 867629), or through the Convenience Store website. Once you've filled in your official entry pack and sent it back with a photo of yourself, it will be forwarded to official judging within its category. The judging panel will be made up of representatives from Convenience Store magazine and five of the biggest and most important suppliers in the industry - Procter & Gamble, Mars Snackfoods, Gallaher, Red Bull and General Mills - who are the official sponsors of Sales Assistant of the Year 2007.
A shortlist will then be drawn up and each semi-finalist will be visited at the store by a representative of Convenience Store magazine and the sponsor from their category. From these visits, the winners for each category will be chosen and invited to the awards ceremony lunch at a top London venue in November, where the overall winner will be announced. All official entry packs must be received for judging by September 3, 2007, so apply for your entry pack today!
? Don't forget to include a current clear photograph of yourself. This photo should be a minimum of passport-sized, clearly labelled on the reverse with your name and store name, and attached to the form using a paper clip. Please note: photographs cannot be returned.

Cash prizes

Overall Sales Assistant of the Year £500
Independent Sales Assistant of the Year £500
Independent Symbol Sales Assistant of the Year £500
Multiple Symbol Sales Assistant of the Year £500
Co-operative and Multiple Sales Assistant of the Year £500
Forecourt Sales Assistant of the Year £500