Barossa Mitre 10 has claimed two Independent Hardware Group SA/NT Awards of Excellence, putting the store in the running for the National Awards next year.
The Nuriootpa based location won both “Trade Centre of the Year” and “Large Format Store of the Year”, topping all the hardware stores trading under the IHG franchise which is recognised as the largest in the country.
“It means we are the best store in South Australia and the Northern Territory for 2021,” Mr Craig Dodman, Barossa Mitre 10 Business Manager told The Leader on Monday.
“Extremely humbled” by the honour, especially after such a difficult year due to COVID-19 and the pressures it continues to place on his staff, Craig acknowledged every one of the 47 people currently employed at the store.
The adjudicating process included mystery shoppers regularly coming in to the store with a specific list of what they needed to purchase, and it’s never known who or when they’ll be there, secretly observing the site with their checklist of around 40 criteria.
Everything from how uniforms and badges are worn and customer service; to merchandising and the way products are displayed were critiqued, with the results leading to Barossa Mitre 10 being voted as overall winners in both award categories.
“To be shopped by ‘mystery shoppers’ and be scored over 95% every visit for the last 12 months is a real credit,” Craig said.
For nearly two years, the team have kept the hardware and trade centre competitive as they’ve successfully managed the impacts of COVID-19 which has not only impacted container shipping, pricing and stock levels, but also the way people shop.
“Our trade business continues to grow which has been driven by customer demand, and despite worldwide timber and building supply shortages, our team is working hard to procure products in these difficult times,” Craig said.
“Demands in retail have also been high because of home renovations, so it’s a credit to our garden and retail team for keeping products in stock and continuing to meet the demands of our local area.”
Despite the challenges faced, Barossa Mitre 10 has proven its ability to prevail in testing times.
“We’ve actually grown our sales with less stock and I think that is a credit to the team – it’s a very deserved win for them all.”