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A competition to celebrate the exceptional people working in store teams around the country has launched for a second year, to share and reward stories of outstanding service, dedication and pride from the heart of the nation’s retail industry. 

Launching today (14th April), the Proud of My Store online hub is now open for entries from supermarket branches, boutiques, banks, pharmacies, salons, restaurants and more, inviting them to tell their local store’s story – whether it’s a big idea or a small but powerful act of kindness.

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Organised by customer interaction management specialists Critizr, monthly winners will be selected from April until June, with one overall team being crowned ‘Proudest Store 2022’ in July by a panel of retail experts. 

What’s in it for the winners? As well as scooping luxury hampers to share with the team, and a donation to the store’s favourite charity, all winners will be guests of Critizr at a special event later in the year, where their achievements will be celebrated in person.

Proud of My Store was founded in 2021 to recognise the invaluable role local store staff played in keeping customers fed and safe through difficult times. And for Critizr, it’s important that a spotlight continues to shine brightly on the service and value they bring to communities.

Nicolas Hammer, Co-founder and CEO of Critizr said: ‘Local store teams were the heroes of the hour during lockdown, and as the entries came in during Proud of My Store last year, we could see that there were a lot of amazing things happening locally as stores acted quickly to serve their customers. There were some incredible and quite moving stories that were an education as well as an inspiration to us all.

‘It’s so important that these teams continue to build their voice and that the retail industry keeps listening. Today, we value our local stores and the people who work in them more than ever, and businesses are waking up to just how powerful their frontline staff are in doing what’s right for their own customers.

‘So don’t miss out! I’d urge all local managers and staff to show their team just how proud they are of everything they achieve together by entering Proud of My Store this year. It’s going to be a wonderful celebration of the people that keep our vibrant and vital retail industry going and we can’t wait to start reading this year’s store stories.’ 

The inaugural Proud of My Store competition was won by the Co-op’s Claire Saunders, from Romford in London. Having witnessed the rising number of local people struggling financially during the pandemic, her team founded a clothing bank to recycle and redistribute donated clothing between families. The initiative was so successful that it blossomed into an official charity, The Baby Bank HQ, and Claire went on to be recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

In a new video to encourage other stores teams and managers to take a few minutes out to enter, she commented: ‘It’s so important that local stores are proud of what they do because they are the heart of the community. Teamwork is the most important thing and without a team you can’t achieve anything. Winning Proud of My Store last year meant the world to me and my team and we were absolutely over the moon. It kept us positive and we couldn’t scream loud enough about that to our lovely community and other stores’. 

How to enter:

1. Visit ProudOfMyStore.com

2. Enter your story

3. Spread the word using #ProudOfMyStore

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