Cloughoge’s Mulkerns Eurospar convenience store & Post Office earned two coveted category star awards, for store display and staff development. Postmaster Terry Mulkerns was presented with the awards at the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) gala awards dinner in London on 22 November.
IAA Award judges said: “Terry has a comprehensive approach to staff development, with a robust induction programme given to all new staff no matter their experience. All staff also attend a customer service course. He does a lot of coaching on the job, teaches managers to multi-task and empowers staff to problem solve effectively.”
We want to bring out the best in people
Mr Mulkerns said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have won two category star awards. Staff development is crucial for Cloughoge’s Mulkerns Eurospar. We want to bring out the best in people and staff development has created a loyal and committed team.
“We want people to feel valued and to have job satisfaction. We want to retain them and develop them to give them new opportunities. It makes economic sense as it costs money to find the right staff so we want happy staff who want to stay. We have very low turnover of people. We treat staff with respect, give them opportunities and they want to stay with us.”
There are 110 staff employed at the family-run store in Cloughoge, Newry in County Down, in full-time and part-time roles. All staff have a review to discuss training needs and development opportunities and there is an in-store trainer, a staff mentoring service, regular team meetings, a weekly staff newsletter and monthly recognition programme.
Stunning displays that impress customers
Cloughoge’s Mulkerns Eurospar is also renowned for its creative instore displays. Employee Donna McNulty has a flair for art and design and store owner Terry Mulkerns gave her the opportunity to use that talent to create eye-catching displays, including seasonal ones.
Store Manager Thomas McGuinness comes up with themes and Donna uses her creativity to produce stunning displays that impress customers as soon as they walk through the door. The fresh produce and decorative floristry sections near the entrance and new promotional displays, every three weeks, have helped the store to reach the finals of the IAA awards.
IAA judges also commented: “Terry mixes simple and effective with an artistic “wow” factor to stop customers in their tracks. Terry encourages his team to be creative with the materials they use for displays, making use of delivery items like pallets to create something different. He is constantly reviewing his displays, despite it performing well. This year, he changed the branding on his coffee display, doubling sales.”
Great role models
Neil Ennis, Post Office Network Transformation and Network Development Programme Director: “We are thrilled that High Blantyre, Cloughoge and Woodhouse Street Post Office's were Category Stars in the IAA Awards, great results. We have many amazing postmasters. Congratulations to all of the 33 shortlisted branches and 12 finalists with Post Offices, they are all great role models as we look to the future.
“We are proud to support the IAA Awards, sponsoring the Customer Service Award and offering expert advice to retailers. We recognise that these awards help motivate retailers to grow their sales and profits by following expert advice and learning from the best practice and innovative ideas from the UK’s best independent retailers.”