Entries are now open for Sales Assistant of the Year 2017, the UK’s premier competition celebrating the performance of the very best shopfloor staff members in the convenience industry.

Nearly £3,000 of prize money is up for grabs for the successful candidates, with £500 going to each of the four category winners and additional prizes of £500 for the overall winner of the competition and £250 for the Community Hero awards. In addition, a further prize of £250 will be given to the store owner or manager who nominates the overall winner of the competition, by sending a endorsing comment on the online entry form.

The four award categories are for staff working in the independent sector, the multiple sector, the co-operative sector and the forecourt sector, and entry is via online entry form at the awards website.

Candidates answer the questions online, saving their progress as they go, and after examining the online entries, judges will visit shortlisted candidates in their stores, and choose one winner in each category. Each category winner will be interviewed privately prior to the ceremony, in order to select the overall Sales Assistant of the Year and the winner of the Community Hero award.

Award supporters JTI, Coca-Cola European Partners and Procter & Gamble will welcome the winners to a memorable awards ceremony and lunch at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday 7 November 2017.

As well as the great sense of achievement and recognition that last year’s champion Tracie Horner earned through winning her title, she was also blown over by the admiration she received from colleagues and customers since the ceremony took place last November.

“I wish I had a penny for every hug I’ve had since winning the award,” Tracie said. “When I came back from London the guys had put photocopied images of the magazine front cover with my picture all over the shop, so all the customers knew where I’d been.

“The local newspaper also picked up the story so I had customers coming in saying ‘I saw you in the newspaper’. When we googled it there were all these images and write-ups about the awards – I felt like a celebrity!”

Store manager Jo Walker from Eurospar Carrowdore recommends that other c-store teams get together to discuss who they feel is most worthy of an award. She says this ensures the whole team is in agreement and it gives that member of staff a boost of confidence.

Winning this vote alone was a huge pat on the back for Tracie. “Just to be put up for the award by your fellow workers was so lovely to know,” she says.

The deadline for entries to this year’s competition is Monday 14 August, but don’t wait until the last minute to encourage your best staff to enter: visit today!