Spar Parkfoot from West Malling, Kent, was crowned Convenience Retailer of the Year 2014 at the Convenience Retail Awards last night (6 March).

In addition to the overall award, Spar Parkfoot also picked up the title of Best Independent Store and Best Chilled Retailer. Williams from Somerton, Somerset, won Best Large Store; Scotmid Co-operative’s store in Barnton, Edinburgh, was named Best Multiple Store; and Biddles Simply Fresh from Redditch, Worcestershire, was awarded Best Small Store.

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The West Malling store’s dedication to top quality produce, high standards of service and energy efficiency won over the judges.

Through major investment and unparalleled determination, Spar Parkfoot has shattered the perception of garage forecourt stores as a simple petrol top up and snack stop. The site was rebuilt and extended last year with the sole purpose of becoming the destination food store in the area and since the refit sales are up 60%.

The store stocks a vast array of fresh and local produce from around 60 suppliers, including a butchery counter staffed by two full-time butchers, who not only prepare the cuts of meat, but also create their own marinades.

Owners David and Ann Charman have also invested in energy-saving features throughout, recycling oil on behalf of their customers and installing chillers with doors to maintain a low carbon footprint. The unit even has its own borehole, enabling it to be completely self-sufficient in water.

“It’s absolutely brilliant to have won this award, we’re over the moon,” said David. “A lot of credit goes to Spar for their support with the store but really it’s all about the staff. They’re there round the clock making the store as good as it is. This award is for them and all the hard work they do on a constant basis.”

David Rees, editor of Convenience Store, commented: “David and Ann took a huge risk investing in the store and have made a tremendous commitment to quality with their in-store butchery, outstanding range of fresh produce, and delicious specialist and local produce.

“Their vision has paid off with an outstanding local convenience store, which thoroughly deserves the accolade of being named the best of its type in the country.”

Organised by Convenience Store and The Grocer, the awards presentation was held at The Grange, St Paul’s, London.

Full list of store award winners:

Convenience Retailer of the Year 2014 - Spar Parkfoot, West Malling, Kent

Best Independent Store - Spar Parkfoot, West Malling, Kent

Best Large Store - Williams, Somerton, Somerset

Best Multiple Store - Scotmid Barnton, Edinburgh

Best Small Store - Biddles Simply Fresh, Redditch, Worcestershire

Best Chilled Food Retailer - Spar Parkfoot, West Malling, Kent

Best Communication to Shoppers - Londis Ascot, Berkshire

Community Retailer of the Year - Nisa Local Toddington, Bedfordshire

Best Customer Service - Eurospar Cullybackey, Ballymena, Co Antrim

Energy Efficient Store of the Year - Londis Finsbury Park, London

Excellence in Impulse Award - Brookfield Frenchgate, Doncaster

National Lottery Retailer of the Year - Bierley Superstore & Post Office, Bradford

Best New Store - Malcolm’s Kwiksave, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham

Off Licence Store of the Year - Brownlies of Biggar (Best-One), Lanarkshire

Product of The Year - Coca-Cola Enterprises’ Share a Coke 500ml PET bottle

Responsible Retailing Award - Belle Vue Convenience Store (Lifestyle Express), Middlesbrough

Best Use of Technology - Scotmid Barnton, Edinburgh

Team of the Year - Whitstone Village Stores, Devon

Zero Tolerance Award for Crime Prevention - Morrison’s Budgens of Broadstairs, Kent