Local retailer kicks year off in award-winning style

Magherafelt’s JC Stewart supermarket has bagged two accolades from the UK’s most prestigious retailing industry awards to kick off the year.

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 9:26 am

The Retail Industry Awards took place online recently, and the local community retailer took home the top gongs for Independent Retailer of the Year (over 6,000 sq.ft) and Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year.

With a huge focus on fresh produce, judges called the supermarket a ‘superb shop… concentrating on local produce, quality and excellent in-store theatre’.

As the only retailer from NI to take home an award in the Independent Retailer of the Year categories, judges described JC Stewart as a ‘stand-out store’, ‘immaculate’ and with ‘abundant displays’.

Produce Manager Beverley Atkinson is pictured with Laura Purvis from JC Stewart and their Retail Industry Award for Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year.

Judges commented on the store’s great butchery offering, using meat from it’s own family farm, the huge range of local produce not to mention the in-store production kitchens and bakeries. They said it was ‘an amazing shop’.

Not only does the store boast a wide range of impactful displays, from fresh produce to flowers and an impressive deli counter, but the team also works closely with the local community and makes use of new technology, such as the Gander App to tackle food waste.

One judge said: “I have seen some great stores – and those in Northern Ireland always push the boundaries – but this is the best store I have seen in my entire life. It is stand-out in terms of in-house own-brand production, range and quality – it’s a phenomenal store”.

Pearce and Shaun Kelly, owners of JC Stewart said: “The Retail Industry Awards are often known as the benchmark of excellence throughout the industry, so to take home two of the top awards from the night is such an honour and one we are very proud of.

Gary McCulloch, Manager at JC Stewarts with Assistant Manager, Jourdan Steadman with their Retail Industry Awards.

“This past year was an extremely difficult one, but we’ve shown that with team work, working with our community and being the local hub for our shoppers, we can provide everything they need in a safe way. We are indebted to our customers for their loyalty and support.

“We’re delighted the judges picked up on our efforts to tackle plastic packaging and make our produce as stand out as possible, especially in the face of strong competition in the area.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the management and staff of JC’s for all their hard work and dedication in making this wonderful achievement possible.”

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