Southern Co-op's Welcome franchise stores have achieved glory in two recent prestigious national retail awards celebrations with a mix of winners and highly commended.
Welcome - Brockenhurst has been crowned the winner for New Store/Refit of the Year category at the national Convenience Store Awards.
The success was rapidly followed by even more success at the Retail Industry Awards 2021 with three stores shortlisted, two Highly Commended and two winners.
Highly Commended accolades went to Welcome - Stoke Bishop for Post Office Retailer of the Year and Welcome franchisee Richard Inglis at Welcome - Liberty Quays (Southampton) for Best Use of Technology.
Welcome - Brockenhurst took home the top prize for Post Office Retailer of the Year and Store Manager Jeanette Smith at Welcome - Ashurst won Store Manager of the Year.
Richard Dance, who has six franchise stores with Southern Co-op including Welcome - Brockenhurst, said, 'We are overjoyed to have won these awards. We had many obstacles to overcome opening a shop and Post Office, but we were resilient and business has thrived.
'Being recognised for the New Store/Refit of the Year is an amazing achievement for both us and the Welcome team. We received some great support from the Welcome team in the design and execution of the new store from all of our initial ideas, support that continued all the way through to opening and beyond.
'The store opened on the second day of lockdown and although the nearby college was closed and there was a lack of tourists, things went really well despite the restrictions and supply difficulties that we have encountered.'
Welcome was also shortlisted for Franchise/Symbol of the Year Retail Industry Awards 2021 and other shortlistings were Welcome - Brockenhurst for Independent Community Retailer of the year, and franchisee Dilan Patel for Trail Blazer of the Year.
Southern Co-op now has more than 50 franchise stores operating under the ‘Welcome' fascia across the south of England.