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Awards Hunt’s SPAR Longton store wins national Convenience Award

One year after a £400,000 refurbishment, Hunt’s SPAR Longton has received honours as the Multiple Managed Store of the Year in the highly competitive national Convenience Awards.

The award was presented to the store team at a glamourous ceremony at The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square after a rigorous selection process from a judging panel of retail experts.

The SPAR in Longton beat off convenience store competition from Cambridgeshire, Wales and the West Midlands to win the coveted accolade, after being described as “the epitome of a modern retail business”.

Last year, a refurbishment of the Longton SPAR saw a 1,000 sq. ft. expansion to include a high-quality Mercer’s butchers counter and incorporate the village Post Office from its previous location next door.

The sales space was also extended enabling customers to shop in greater comfort, and larger chilled food, frozen food, grocery and off-licence ranges were added, as well as the installation of an ATM.

Improvements made to the store have resulted in a sales increase of 30% year-on-year, as well as the average basket spend going up by more than £1, and higher store footfall.

Aidan Fortune, Editor of Convenience Store, the publication that runs the awards, said: “The store’s fresh displays and butchery counter came in for particular praise by the judges for this category, who were very impressed by the offerings.

“It also won out on design, training standards, and support for the local community as well as overall high standards for the store.

“Its position as hub of the community that offers a fantastic shopping experience highlights the best of a multiple managed convenience store offering.”

The Hunt family has 23 SPAR stores across the North West of England, and Longton was the second to be opened by the family in 1960 after the first SPAR in their empire in nearby Walmer Bridge.

All the Hunt’s SPAR stores are serviced by James Hall & Co. Ltd, SPAR’s primary wholesaler and distributor for the North of England, based in Preston.

Jack Hunt, Business Development Manager at Lawrence Hunt & Co. Ltd, collected the award alongside Store Manager Debbie Deeley.

Jack said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to win the award and it was an incredible evening. We never expected to win against such strong competition from across the UK.

“Since the refit, we have had some fantastic successes, in particular a tenfold increase in sales on fresh meat through the butchers and a huge leap in sales of cards and gifting having brought the Post Office into the shop.

“Sales of staples like our fresh food, bread and milk have also significantly improved too, so it is fantastic to see growth right across the store’s categories and I think it shows we are there for the community we serve.

“We can design and create the best store we can, but nothing is achieved without the people who work within it, and this award win really is a credit to Debbie and the team for the outstanding work they put in every day.”

You can find out more about James Hall & Co. Ltd at

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