Jennifer Kerr, from Spar Saintfield Road in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, has won the 2015 Sales Assistant of the Year awards - the prestigious national competition organised by Convenience Store magazine.
Jennifer, who had already been announced as the UK’s best sales assistant in the Forecourt sector, triumphed over some of the stiffest competition ever seen to claim the overall prize.
A genuine all-rounder, she possesses all of the qualities that the judges were searching for in a winner: a positive attitude, a key team player, a force for good within her local community, a commercial mind-set, and most crucially of all, first-rate customer service skills and a genuine desire to help each person who visits her till – be they paying customers or just elderly locals in need of support.
Jennifer was awarded £500 in prize money for reaching the finals, and a further £500 for being the overall winner.
“I never thought in a million years I would win as the four other contenders were each so strong. It’s an unbelievable honour,” Jennifer said.
“Positivity and a genuine love for my job is the key to my success. It’s the first job I’ve ever had where I wake up smiling each morning so can’t help but be sparky with the customers, be it 6am or 6pm,” she added.
The store’s Facebook page has been awash with messages of congratulations since news of her win was announced at the glittering ceremony in London’s Dorchester hotel.
C-Store editor David Rees said: “Jennifer is great to customers, great to fellow members of staff and great for her business, making her the perfect customer service employee and a truly worthy champion of Sales Assistant of the Year 2015.
“She charmed and impressed the judges in equal measure, as did all of our five fabulous Sales Assistant of the Year category winners. The candidates were all of an incredibly high standard, proving that shoppers really can receive world-class service at their local store.”
A second winner on the day was Tesco Express worker Rema Boumerdassi, who was crowned the 2015 Community Hero – a prize reserved for someone who offers outstanding commitment and support to local people.
Her ability to communicate in British Sign Language makes her a valuable asset to local deaf shoppers and her store while her extra work as British Army Reservist also sees her offer vital support to local youngsters, many of whom also shop in the store.
Rema also claimed the prize for Multiple sector Sales Assistant of the Year.
FULL LIST OF CATEGORY WINNERS
• Forecourt sector winner – Jennifer Kerr, Spar, Lisburn
• Multiple sector winner – Rema Boumerdassi, Tesco Express, North Wembley
• Independent sector winner – Ashley Kane, Best-One, Brownlies, Biggar
• Co-operative sector winner – Michal Klatka, Scotmid, Stockbridge
• Multiple symbol sector winner – Julie Sutton, Spar, Sleaford
Sales Assistant of The Year was supported by JTI, Mars Chocolate UK, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola Enterprises and The Post Office.