The winner of the Sales Assistant of the Year Award 2016 was revealed as Tracie Horner, of Spar Carrowdore, in Northern Ireland, during a grand ceremony at the Dorchester London yesterday (November 8).

Tracie was chosen because of her personal charm and commitment to customer service, her contribution to the store’s business success, and her capacity to embrace change with enthusiasm. Tracie sets herself the challenge each day of making sure every customer she serves leaves the shop with a smile on their face. Under her supervision she has managed to both increase sales and reduce wastage in the store’s crucial fresh produce department, and is already involved in planning how the section will evolve when the store is being enlarged.

After being awarded the grand prize of £1,000 during the grand lunch event, Tracie said: “I couldn’t  believe it when they called out my name. All the other finalists were such lovely girls and all were very worthy winners.

“This has been just a wonderful event, from the lovely people, to all the attention to detail in looking after me, the whole experience has been wonderful, and to win this award is just the icing on the cake.”

All five category winners who attended the awards were full of pride during the event, none more so than Debbie Kaur from Tesco Express, in Canton, Cardiff, who picked up the ‘Community Hero’ award during the ceremony.

”It’s amazing to be recognised for everything I do for my community,” Debbie said, “I was shocked to be shortlisted let alone win this award!” 

“My customers will be really pleased when they find out I’ve won this award. I’ve had them asking me how they can help me to win and I’ve told them we just have to wait and see what happens so this is for them as well as for myself.”

Tracie attended the awards as winner of the forecourt category and Debbie as winner of the Multiple category. They were joined at the awards by winner of the Co-operative category Katie Shaw, of Co-op in Oakworth, West Yorkshire.

Katie said being named a winner had boosted her confidence to take on more responsibilities at work.

”It’s made me feel like I want to do more in my career now as now I know that my work is appreciated so I want to do more and take on more responsibilities.”

The winner of the multiple symbol category was Michelle Chamberlain, of Spar Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire. She said: ”This has definitely given me a confidence boost, I just can’t believe it! This certificate is definitely going up on the store wall.”

The independent category winner was Louise Hutson of Ansell Village Store, in Shillington, Bedfordshire. 

”I was shocked and overwhelmed when I discovered I was my category’s winner. Entering was definitely worth the effort as it’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve met some fantastic sales assistants here.”

Convenience Store editor David Rees added: ”With five such outstanding individuals to choose from, this was always going to be a very difficult decision for the judges. But Tracie’s high standard of work, dedication to the store and the local community coupled with engaging personal charm meant that she is the epitome of the perfect sales assistant and a very worthy winner of the accolade Sales Assistant of the Year 2016.”

The Sales Assistant of the Year Awards is supported by Coca-Cola European Partners, JTI, Mars Chocolate UK and Procter & Gamble. 

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