Middleton Grange shopping centre served up a winning night with its fourth annual retail awards.
The awards recognise outstanding customer service and community spirit among shops in the centre and nominations are voted for by shoppers and other tenants before being judged by a team of secret shoppers.
“This year has been our most successful event yet,” said centre manager Mark Rycraft.
“Since we introduced the awards in 2013 they have proved increasingly popular, and this year we saw thousands of shoppers voting throughout the summer.”
Open to all shops at Middleton Grange - from large national chains to small independent retailers and Market Hall traders - the awards recognise outstanding retailing and customer service.
Categories range from Favourite Indoor Market Stall through to Shop Window Display.
It’s always wonderful to be able to give recognition where it is so thoroughly deserved.Mark Rycraft
The event, held at Hartlepool College of Further Education, was attended by Mayor of Hartlepool Coun Rob Cook, who presented champagne and certificates to the winners and certificates to all runners-up and short-listed colleagues.
One of the centre’s newest arrivals, Pandora, scooped three top awards on the night, winning for Best Customer Service, Favourite Window Display and Favourite Store.
Fashion and hair accessory retailer Faking It - runner-up in the Best Customer Service category - was named Favourite Indoor Market Stall, whilst Bon Marché won the annual ‘Embrace’ Award after being heavily involved in activities at the centre as well as some outstanding community and charity work this year, including a hugely successful ‘Bras for Africa’ collection appeal.
“It has been a fantastic year at the centre, with several new store openings and continued investment in the redevelopment of Middleton Grange,” said Mark. “It was a great honour to be able to mark the achievements of so many of our colleagues here.
“The awards are always well received, as they bring our shoppers and retailers together.
“It’s always wonderful to be able to give recognition where it is so thoroughly deserved.”
Customer Service Assistant Becca Wilkie was nominated by colleagues for the Middleton Grange Employee Award.
“We also presented seven ‘Shooting Stars’ awards to staff members who were nominated by their team colleagues and managers for going above and beyond in their daily work,” said Mark.
“We heard some truly wonderful stories, ranging from a young apprentice at Galleries Café who has now joined the team permanently, to a colleague at Specsavers who organised a fitness boot camp for her co-workers.
“There were also awards for the quick thinking members of the team who helped save a young girl’s life recently, and also for the colleague who made herself late for work one day after her elderly neighbour needed help with their remote control.”