The results of the competition run by the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) to find Nottingham’s favourite independent business for 2013 have been announced. And, for the second year running, the graphic novel specialist retailer Page 45 has been named as the winner.
“I am completely stunned!” said Stephen Holland, one of the owners of Page 45, Market Street. “It has come as a complete surprise. To win this competition once is an achievement but to win it a second time is truly amazing. Our customers are very passionate and loyal and it’s great that they voted for us in the first place. Then for the captains of industry – the judges – to recognise us in this way is fantastic.”
The first stage of the competition was a public vote, with the top ten then visited by a panel of judges which included Jennifer Spencer, chief executive of Experience Nottinghamshire, Lynn Oxborrow of Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham City Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth. They visited and rated each on staff friendliness, knowledge, customer service, products, individuality, marketing and surroundings, and the business with the highest score was named as the winner.
Stephen Holland continues, “As a graphic novel shop we are in a rather esoteric industry but winning this competition has certainly helped to raise our profile and introduce us to new people. One of the biggest challenges is to get customers through the door in the first place then it’s down to us to provide a high quality one-to-one customer service. It’s just brilliant when a new customer goes on our “show and tell” recommendations and then comes back to us as a regular customer – it’s the best thing ever!”
Such was the quality of the businesses shortlisted in this year’s competition that the judges also decided to present two special highly-commended awards to two other businesses – The Cheese Shop in Flying Horse Walk and the Beauty Temple on King Street.
“We are really pleased that we have been highly-commended by the judges in the competition,” said Webb Freckingham of the Cheese Shop. “It’ fantastic that Nottingham’s independents are being supported and recognised – they are really important to the city. We are so happy that our customers have voted for us – our business is all about them – and it’s great that the judges like what we do too.”
“I am over the moon and also really proud,” said Lucy Goodwin, one of the owners of the BeautyTemple. “My husband and I are passionate about what we do and it is lovely for the business to be recognised in this way. We are very touched by our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this by voting for us in the first stage of the competition. We are delighted too that the judges rated us so highly.”
This is the second year the independents competition has taken place as part of the campaign being run by the Nottingham BID to highlight the strength and diversity of independent businesses in the city centre and encourage people to ‘shop local’.
Geoff Williams, director of the Nottingham BID said, “It’s brilliant news that Page 45 has won once again – it’s a great business that Nottingham should be proud of. It has a local, regional, national and international reputation and scored highly in all the categories according to our judges. Well-deserved congratulations to Stephen and the other two commended businesses.
Geoff continues, “It’s great that Nottingham has such strength and diversity of independents which are so important in differentiating Nottingham from other places and attracting shoppers and visitors to the city.”