Tristan and Claire King have been crowned the best independent SPAR retailers across the Blakemore Trade Partners network

Tristan and Claire King have been crowned the best independent SPAR retailers across the Blakemore Trade Partners network.

The couple picked up the prestigious Baldwin Cup at Blakemore Trade Partners’ SPAR Retail Show (SRS) awards ceremony on 16th June in recognition of their commitment to developing their business, King Family Stores.

The trophy is awarded to one retailer every year and celebrates the very best stores across SPAR UK’s Meridian & Welsh Guild region.

King Family Stores dates back to 1997, when the business was founded by Tristan and his parents. Tristan and his wife, Claire, took sole ownership in 2016 and today have six SPAR stores in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire.

They have consistently invested in their estate to grow sales and profitability.

With support from the team at Blakemore Trade Partners, they have developed their own food-to-go brand, Kings Kitchen, which has given their stores a real point of difference. Five of their sites operate the brand to varying degrees: from a simple chilled offer to a full hot menu more akin to a traditional takeaway.

Tristan and Claire’s latest development was completed at their Sheffield Road store in Chesterfield last month. They introduced the Kings Kitchen brand to give their customers a greater choice of great value, locally produced food.

Blakemore Trade Partners provided support by preparing a business plan, advancing business overriders, offering range, and pricing advice, fitting out the store and assisting with marketing.

The refit was only completed a few weeks ago, but customer reaction has been more than positive and sales better than forecast.

Blakemore Trade Partners Commercial Director Louis Drake commented: “Since joining SPAR, Tristan and Claire have demonstrated outstanding commitment to developing their business. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, they are constantly looking for opportunities to grow.

“The business is full of innovation, something that is most evident in the development of their Kings Kitchen food-to-go concept, which has been developed to create a real point of difference and drive sales and profitability.

“The couple regularly move outside their comfort zone and have formed a formidable business partnership. Congratulations on this very deserved win.”

The SRS awards ceremony was hosted by Blakemore Trade Partners to recognise the outstanding performance of retailers and suppliers.

SPAR retailers honoured on the night included:

– Baldwin Cup: Tristan and Claire King, King Family Stores
Since joining SPAR Tristan and Claire have doubled their store estate, not wanting to rest on their laurels they are constantly looking for opportunities to grow their business further. The business is full of innovation, this is most evident in the development of their “Kings Kitchen” Food to go concept which has been developed to create a real point of difference and drive sales and profitability. The couple regularly move outside their comfort zone and have formed a formidable business partnership.

– Best Business Initiative: Brockhill Convenience Store
Nick Bennett and Shaun O Grady have built a business based on fantastic instore execution and delivery, embracing retail initiatives with focus on the needs of their customers. Always looking for the latest ideas and innovation to keep their retail proposition fresh and relevant. This combined with a clear investment strategy is really paying dividends in sales and profitability.

– Best Store Team: King Family Stores
This award goes to the entire team across all six of Kings Stores who demonstrated flexibility throughout the pandemic, job sharing, stepping into management positions to cover for colleagues. Working collectively to support the takeover of a new store and the complete refit and redevelopment of another. Working in various locations, supporting the business against a backdrop of team shortages, and additional workload.

– Raj Aggarwal Community Engagement Award: Croyland Motors, Rushden
Highly Commended: The Golden Fleece, Tremadog

– Winners: Croyland Motors have taken local community engagement one step further. In addition to sponsoring a variety of local sporting teams and supporting local charities the business also provided regular contribution to local foodbanks. During the pandemic Directors of the business gave up 20% of their salaries to support their local foodbanks and other community organisations.

Highly Commended: The Golden Fleece Tremadog

The judges wanted to recognise Liam and Stuart Nashir-Hallard for their amazing work and contribution within their local community.

Big Investment Award: Lewis of Llandrinio
This is a business with a clear vision and plan, which when delivered will provide clear a benefit for the local community. The team have identified their strengths and weaknesses ensuring their redeveloped store will build on the success to date, delivering new categories and ranges with a clear focus on efficiency and sustainability.

Suppliers to Blakemore Trade Partners also received awards:

-Best Licensed Supplier of the Year: BrewDog
– Best Frozen/Fresh Supplier of the Year: FrieslandCampina
– Best Grocery Supplier of the Year: Nestle Purina
– Best Impulse Supplier of the Year: Red Bull
– Partnership Award: Aquavape

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