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Staying one step ahead is key for award-winning retailer

Faced with plenty of competition in their area, the SPAR Acres team have made it a top priority to learn from their rivals and to ensure they do everything just that much better.

That has led to them being named the Eastern Cape retailer's store of the year in the SPAR category at the recent awards function held at the Mpekweni resort near Port Alfred.

Based in Perridgevale in Port Elizabeth, they also won the KWIKSPAR title in 2014, but are now in the SPAR category after enlarging their premises and transforming their business.

Owner Shannon Joubert admitted their success came from their willingness to learn and to make the necessary adjustments to their operation.

"Situated near Greenacres, we have a lot of competition from other national retailers, all of whom are within a 100 to 1 600m radius," he said. "We use this as an opportunity to learn from others and then try to do it better."

Joubert said their key elements to achieving a successful operation were to work together as a team and to be innovative.

"Winning the award makes me and the staff very proud to be part of this team. Everyone does what is necessary to run an efficient, neat and clean operation."

Trading in what he said was virtually a recession, Joubert added that they had, over the last year, focused on targeting value added items for their customers.

Maintaining high standards of hygiene was also an ongoing commitment, he said.

"Back of the house hygienic standards filter to the front, so that is very important to us. In addition, we focus on providing quality products at reasonable prices and top-notch housekeeping.

"There are many well-run stores with good retail teams so we have to continuously try and be better than before and one step ahead."

While the main aim was to provide a high-quality service, Joubert said awards such as these did come with some benefits.

"It's great to get that recognition and it creates a perception among the customers that we are doing things right. It also helps with staff morale when they know their efforts are being rewarded."



SPAR Acres owner Shannon Joubert (fifth from right) and his staff celebrate being named the Eastern Cape store of the year in the SPAR category at the recent awards function at the Mpekweni resort near Port Alfred. Photo: Supplied

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