Extensive training to ensure the best service for its customers has been the hallmark of operations at the TOPS@Protea store in Queenstown.
This led to the liquor outlet being named retailer of the year in its category at the annual SPAR Eastern Cape awards function at the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth.
It was the first award for the Queenstown TOPS store and owner Abrie Erasmus, managing director of AE Retail Group, said it was “a huge honour”.
“This is the sort of recognition that fills the staff with pride and proves that all the hard work they have put in has been worthwhile,” he said.
“We have placed massive focus in the last year on training our staff. It’s a matter of train, train and train again.
“We are committed to customer service and without passionate and dedicated trained staff this would not be possible.”
He acknowledged the role played by staff members in lifting their operation to another level.
“Without our wonderful team we would not have been able to achieve this or any other award,” added Erasmus.
“Our success lies with our staff as in any customer-service orientated business. We listen, watch and learn, while everyone from management down are encouraged to share their ideas, enthusiasm and passion.
“It would be remiss of me not to mention John Atkins and Keith Coetzee, who are in full-time attendance at the store and played a huge part in the winning of this award.
“A special mention must also go to John’s wife, Elizma, for her ongoing involvement.”
Another element in their improved operations, said Erasmus, was a huge revamp they did, both at the TOPS store and the adjacent SUPERSPAR Protea.
“This took place in 2017 and 2018 and was aimed at bringing in the latest trends and shopping experiences, which are generally only available in large cities across the country.”
He said pride in the store was an obvious by-product of receiving the reward and paid tribute to the Queenstown community for their support.
“We asked builders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters and printers to down tools at very short notice to assist our staff to prepare for the store judging and they did not let us down.
“This award also belongs to all of them. Without their co-operation and support we would not have been able to achieve this.”