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Store of the Quarter | September 3rd 2015

A Q&A with Graham and Amanda, the winners of our ‘Store of the Quarter’ award

Graham and Amanda Brimner are the husband-and-wife team behind G&A’s Corner Shop in Inverurie. The store recently won our prestigious ‘Store of the Quarter’ award, which recognises the best of the CollectPlus network. Read on to find out more about what makes their store so special.

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Graham and Amanda’s Corner Shop was one of the very first stores to join our network in March 2009. Thanks to Graham and Amanda’s mix of business acumen and sheer hard work, the store has flourished over the last six years to become one of the most successful CollectPlus stores in the country, offering outstanding customer service.

What we really love about Graham and Amanda’s Corner Shop is the important role it plays in its local community. This is thanks not only to the fanatic services they offer at the store but also their friendly and personal approach to customer service.

We caught up with Graham and Amanda to find out more about their success story, and how it feels to win the CollectPlus Store of the Quarter Award.

 Q. There are over 5,800 newsagents, convenience stores, petrol stations and supermarkets in the CollectPlus network. How does it feel to have been named the UK’s best CollectPlus store?

Graham: It’s really great to receive such positive feedback from our customers and even better to win an award that recognises our efforts in delivering excellent customer service. We’ve worked really hard over the past eleven years to provide the kind of personal touch to customers that you only get from a family-run business. This shop has been around since before I was born and it’s a real part of the community.

Q. What has been the biggest challenge in running a small family store in Inverurie?

Amanda: There are a few supermarkets in the area, Tesco is about 200 yards away and the Aldi opposite us is the biggest Aldi in Scotland. They have provided strong competition but the local community has been really supportive. We stock a lot of locally sourced produce, such as butchers and bakers that are based just outside Inverurie, so our customers can have get produce that they wouldn’t be able to get in town. Our shop is slightly outside the town centre and our customers like the fact that when they come into to pick up their newspapers, they are likely to bump into others and have a chat.  

Q: How has the CollectPlus service helped you to grow your business?

Amanda: The CollectPlus service has really helped us attract new customers and retain longstanding ones. Customers like the convenience of shopping online and having parcels delivered to the store so they don’t have to wait in for deliveries. We are open from half five in the morning from Monday to Saturday and our regulars often pop in before work to pick up their online purchases.

 People also come back to our shop to use the CollectPlus service when they want to return unwanted items or for sending their own parcels. We do what we can to help our customers with heavy or awkward parcels and we’ll take them out to their cars outside so picking these up is as easy as it can be.

 Lots of people who come in to drop off or pick up a parcel remember that they need bread or milk, or they are tempted by one of our local pastries, so they end up buying other products from us. 

 We have also seen a whole new audience of customers who are online shoppers, mainly women but we do get some men too! They tend to pop in to collect online shopping or drop off returns and it is often the first time they’ve visited the store. As more retailers join the CollectPlus service this audience grows, which can only be a good thing for us.

 Q. What are your plans for the future?

Graham: We really want to build on this award win and continue to offer great service to our customers. We have a great opportunity, especially with first time visitors to encourage them to keep coming back through the door. We believe offering excellent customer service is the best way to do this. And who knows, maybe we’ll be lucky enough to win another ‘Store of the Quarter’ award in the future!

September 3rd 2015 - by @CollectPlus