Richard Barron has been crowned the best independent SPAR retailer across the Meridian & Welsh Guild.

Richard picked up the prestigious Baldwin Cup at Blakemore Trade Partners’ SPAR Retail Show awards ceremony on October 1st in recognition of his commitment to developing his business.

The trophy is awarded to one retailer every year and celebrates the very best stores in the Meridian & Welsh Guild region.

Richard has traded with SPAR for more than 20 years and has six stores around Chesterfield and Hope Valley in the Derbyshire Peak District: Newbold Road, Sheffield Road, Heanor, Hathersage, Hope and Maltby.

In the last 12 months, he has carried out two major store refits at Newbold Road and Hope as part of A.F. Blakemore’s Flagship Store Programme.

With the support of his two step-sons Ben and Tim, Richard has worked hard to make fresh food for now and food for later the cornerstone of all his shops. Taking a bespoke approach to each of his stores, he has increased fresh produce,chilled products and food to go and introduced SPAR’s Tonight’s Tea ranges.

Richard has also been recognised for his contribution to local communities. His stores have supported numerous community events including school sports days, carol services and village barbecues, and have even been recognised for their Christmas displays. Collectively Richard’s store teams have raised more than £7,000 for local hospices in the last six months.

Meanwhile, Richard has shown outstanding commitment to developing his staff. Each of his managers and supervisors have developed in their roles with his support, and his staff turnover rate is well below the national average.

In addition, Richard has played an active role on the Guild Committee, offering advice to other SPAR retailers on opportunities to grow and sustain profitable retail businesses.

Blakemore Trade Partners Sales Director Louis Drake commented: “Richard has demonstrated outstanding commitment to developing his business, completing not one but two excellent Flagship Store Programme refits in the last 12 months.

“He runs six stores to a very high standard and is a great advocate of SPAR and A.F. Blakemore, supporting our brand for many years as a very successful retailer.

“Richard’s great strength is his focus on the strong commercial performance of his business while delivering the highest levels of customer service and operational standards and providing an excellent place to work for his employees. Congratulations on this very well-deserved win.”

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