Awards scheme is hotting up

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RETAILERS and shop workers have been shortlisted for a shopping centre’s first awards scheme.

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool launched the Embrace Awards to recognise excellence and outstanding customer service among its 140 stores and market stalls.

A whopping 953 nominations were made by visitors and a judging panel has now narrowed those down to a shortlist for each of the awards categories.

They are:

l Retailer of the Year – Sally hair and beauty; Boots; Kosa hairdressers;

l Market Hall Stall of the Year – Special Occasions; Ryan Fruit & Veg; Sweetie Heaven;

l Shop Window Display of the Year – BHS; River Island; Warren James;

l Shooting Star Award – Amy Brown (Specsavers); Rachel Longmoor (Peacocks); Victoria Threadway (British Heart Foundation); Danielle Barber (O2); Charlotte Keegan (Warren James)

l Embrace Award – Specsavers; Warren James; Peacocks.

Centre manager Mark Rycraft said: “We’re delighted at how the first ever Embrace Awards has been received by everyone at Middleton Grange, from all the stores and their staff to our customers who have made so many nominations.

“It proves that visitors to Middleton Grange appreciate and value the stores and the staff that we have here. The Embrace Awards are all about recognising outstanding customer service and rewarding those people and businesses that make a positive contribution to the success of the centre.

“Now the Embrace Awards ceremony is nearly upon us, we are very excited and I’m sure the ceremony will grow in popularity and stature every year.”

The inaugural Embrace Awards will be presented on October 16, at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, which is managed by Cushman & Wakefield. An independent judging panel – made up of retail consultant Graham Soult; Jerry Hatch, manager of Dalton Park; Joanne Cole, tourism officer at Hartlepool Borough Council; and Daniel Raudin, owner of the York House restaurant in Hartlepool – decided which retailers and staff got some well-deserved recognition.

One lucky shopper selected at random from all of the nominations will also be handed a £100 gift card for Middleton Grange.