Top awards for Sidmouth Garden Centre

Sidmouth Garden Centre named garden retail outlet of the year for third time

TEAMWORK and great customers have helped Sidmouth Garden Centre win two top retail awards.

For the third year out of four, the garden centre has been named Garden Retail Outlet of the Year (under �3m turnover) by the Horticultural Trade Association, who hosted an awards night in London last week.

A delighted manager, James Trevitt, said: “We are really grateful to the great customers we have got.

“They get us going through every year, despite the fact we are only little and punching above our weight.”

The garden centre also won a new category for best sales team and was highly commended for its customer service ethics, an award it won last year.

More than 2,200 garden centres are eligible to take part in the national retail contest.

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Eighteen awards were up for grabs and Sidmouth Garden Centre was finalist in five, including sales team of the year, best planteria and employee of the year, with plants manager and local fireman, Darren Knapman, one of five finalists.

It was a tense evening for the six members of staff, including owner Ian Barlow, whose competition included RHS Garden, Wisley.

“We were really nervous when customer service came up and we got highly commended,” said James.

“My heart sank and thought that was the way it was going to go, but then we got lucky.

“Winning these two awards is a really nice pat on the back, especially when we are up against B & Q and big garden centre groups. It was a great result.”

He said the ethos at Sidmouth had always been to ensure a happy customer returned and the hand-picked team worked hard to ensure this.

Judging consists of two mystery shoppers and a written entry detailing sales figures, targets, staffing and costs.