The loyalty of its staff and attention to detail are among the key elements behind KWIKSPAR Beacon Isle being named the national retailer of the year in its category last week.

This is the view of store owner Duncan Brown, who says recognition at the highest level makes all “the hard work worthwhile”.

The store received the accolade at the company’s national convention at Sun City.

This comes after the Plettenberg Bay outlet was named the Eastern Cape KWIKSPAR winner for the third time in four years last month.

“It definitely makes me, my managers and staff very, very proud,” says Brown.

KWIKSPAR Beacon Isle

KWIKSPAR Beacon Isle was named the national store of the year in its category at SPAR’s annual convention in Sun City last week. Photo: Martin Hurwitz

“To be recognised as the best store in the country is every owner’s dream and something very few retailers achieve.

“What has been really amazing and not expected is the reaction from our customers. They have been so supportive and I have had hundreds of messages and calls from people in Plett.

“Customers also want to shop at the best and they ‘brag’ about this to non-locals.

He adds that the loyalty of his staff has been one of the most important aspects in their success as a retail outlet.

“Without a doubt this is the critical factor because they are the ones our customers deal with face-to-face on a daily basis,” he says.

“Our staff are everything and among the best in the business out there. Many of them have been with us for more than a decade and they are committed to the store and to providing the best service for the customers.”

He adds that they follow the SPAR Guest programme, which is an acronym for greet, uniform, engage, sell and thank.

“By executing these principles it has helped tremendously with the communications between our staff and the shoppers.”

The spin-off of their approach, says Brown, is that staff are motivated by the recognition the store receives.

“They want to work for the best and there is massive pride among them in winning this award.”

He adds, though, that there are many elements which contribute towards a successful business.

“We are fanatical about cleanliness, customer service and our extensive food offering.

“In addition, we involve ourselves in the community and always try to go the extra mile to help where we can.”

While he acknowledges that the South African economy is sluggish, Brown says they strive to follow a creative path to ensure the business provides a quality service.

“We constantly innovate and offer points of difference, ranging from sushi to burgers, plus a very popular coffee bar.

“We will continue to encourage excellence among our staff and reward good service.”

Brown says their involvement in the community stretches beyond just the store.

“We are involved in the Keep Plett Clean campaign and we also sponsor Muddy Pooches, which entails feedings dogs and their owners from the poorer areas of our community.”