Newsagent scoops national awards
Husband and wife team, Allan and Stella Wickham, claimed the top gong for retailing out of all NewsXpress newsagents in Australia.
The Eli Waters newsagency was named Gift Retailer of the Year and the coveted Retailer of the Year ahead of around 180 stores.
The pair has owned the Hervey Bay business for nine years and joined the News Express group around five years ago.
A shop fit-out last year provided an improved layout for a “nicer shopping experience” for customers and room for a much bigger range of gifts.
Mr Wickham said receiving the award was a reward for effort.
He said the newsagency had an extended family of regulars who popped in at least on a weekly basis to get their Lotto tickets, newspapers and magazines.
“We have a strong, loyal customer base and Hervey Bay is growing, so business is growing,” Mr Wickham said.
Mrs Wickham said the award was handed to the newsagent with the most “extraordinary sales success across a range of categories”.
“We’ve seen gaps within our business and tried to fill these by going into new products such as ink cartridges,” she said.
“We also keep a focus on our core range and run promotions to encourage repeat business.”
Mr Wickham added that the awards rewarded a lot of hard work put in to growing the business, and recognition of the changes made to improve sales.
“We like to maintain a happy balance,” he said.