The winner of Charles Viancin’s Retailer of the Month Award for July is The Foodhall at Gretna Green in Scotland.
The housewares supplier introduced its six month awards programme in May, with the focus on retail customers’ social media activity. Individual retailers are judged on how well they interact with customers online and the extent of their social media involvement.
Charles Viancin UK head of operations Peter Battersby said: “We see the value in social media and its benefits within the retail industry. We want to encourage our retailers to discover the benefits of using social media and interacting with customers online”.
Over the period, Charles Viancin’s six agents are taking it in turns to nominate a retailer in their area.
The Foodhall at Gretna Green was nominated by Angela Elliot, Charles Viancin’s newly appointed sales agent covering Scotland.
This retailer celebrates the best quality regional food and drink from local producers, mostly from Dumfries & Galloway and Cumbria.
It stocks a mix of fresh meats, vegetables, fruit and cheese as well as frozen pre-prepared dishes and a vast array of preserves, cakes, biscuits and daily baked bread. The Foodhall is also bursting with kitchen utensils and novelty kitchen accessories.
Situated just off the M74, it sits in the middle of farmland owned and managed by Alasdair Houston, chairman of the family business which owns Gretna Green’s Famous Blacksmiths Shop and Smiths Hotel.
The Famous Blacksmiths Shop is the ancient building that made Gretna Green famous: it has stood in Gretna Green since 1712 and was one of the earliest destinations for runaway couples fleeing to marry in Gretna Green.
Angela said: “Gretna Green is an out-of-town visitor destination famously known for eloping brides and grooms. The Foodhall specialises in local produce and is also a cookshop. Its customer base is primarily tourists, who love Charles Viancin products because they are lightweight and portable to transport home.
The staff are very enthusiastic and interact with every customer – which I believe is the key to sell Charles Viancin merchandise.”
Peter Battersby added: “The Gretna Green Foodhall has an excellent rapport with its online viewers. Due to being a part of the Famous Blacksmiths at Gretna, it has a regular communication with its local audience – and, of course, with all those eloping couples”.
The Foodhall has been presented with prizes and its win has been announced on both the Charles Viancin UK Facebook and Twitter pages.
June’s winner was Harrogate specialist cookshop Cooking Fantastic, nominated by the company’s sales agent in the north of England John Taylor.
May’s winner, chosen by sales agent Kevin Towler for the London and South East area, was Steamer Trading Cookshop of Horsham in West Sussex.
Winners will later be announced for the West Country, East Anglia and Midlands areas.
Buyer Rhona Henderson (third from left) and her team at The Foodhall at Gretna Green