Top award for shoe shop manager

A DEDICATED shoe shop manager from Chorley has a spring in her step after being named as one of the UK’s top store bosses.

Nicola Clark won the award after she oversaw a new store opening and ensured bumper sales over the last year at the town’s Market Walk shopping centre.

She was surprised with a bottle of bubbly and some chocolates to reward her efforts at Shoe Zone and Stead and Simpson.

The luxury prizes, along with a cheque and a certificate, were presented by Charles Smith, one of the owners of Shoe Zone, the well known high street shoe store which also owns Stead and Simpson.

Nicola, 34, from Chorley, came third across the whole of the UK in an annual awards ceremony organised to recognise the achievements of store managers. The company has more than 800 branches across the country.

Nicola, who has worked for the company for eight years, was at the helm of the opening of the Stead and Simpson branch next door to the Shoe Zone she was already in charge of, in November 2010.

Despite suddenly being in charge of two stores, Nicola rose to the challenge and with the help of her team ensured the company’s high standards of customer service were maintained and reported a healthy sales increase overall of almost 30 per cent to boot.

Nicola said: “We were the first store that opened another branch in this way, just next door, and it has been so successful, they have sent people to us for training so they can see how it works.

“I couldn’t have done it without the help of my colleagues. I was really lucky because I had some excellent staff already working with me when we took on the new store. That meant I could trust people, who I knew were reliable and loyal, to watch the shop floor for me and help run things.

“I couldn’t be in all the different places at the same time so knowing I had a good team behind me made what was quite a tough challenge a lot easier.”

Nicola was nominated for the award by her area manager, Martina Toms, who said Nicola and her team thoroughly deserved the recognition.

Martina said: “Nicola is a very conscientious manager who leads by the good example she always sets to her staff.

“Opening the new shop, which is a very different business in itself, has been a challenge but Nicola always has a positive outlook on life and has tackled what we have asked of her in her usual cheery manner.

“She is right to say she has a very good team behind her and whenever you visit, the staff are willing to help and are friendly and this is very important to the standards we set across the country.”

Annalisa Johnson, marketing manager for Market Walk, sent her warmest congratulations to Nicola and her team.

She said: “I think her award is an excellent achievement and by the sounds of things, she definitely deserves it.

“It is great to hear retailers at Market Walk reporting such positive sales results for the last year and it is right to recognise the hard work which goes on behind the scenes to achieve this.”

Nicola said she was very proud of the award and added: “The best thing about it was to have the recognition for the efforts which both myself and the team have put into running the two stores. I am just glad it has all worked out so well.”

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