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New Look South Shields scoops first win in UK wide Critizr store competition

Tom Shearsmith
17 May 2022

New Look's King Street store in South Shields has been selected as the first winner of a nationwide competition to celebrate the pride, commitment and exceptional service given by teams working in stores across the UK.

Proud of My Store crowned Store Manager Serena Martinez and her team as their April winners, after judges were bowled over by the energy, drive and team spirit that shone through in their entry, alongside a drive to make sure that customers always come first.

Proud of My Store was founded in 2021 to recognise the invaluable role local store staff play in retail, and to shine a spotlight on the service and value they bring to communities. The Proud of My Store 2022 online hub opened earlier this month for entries from supermarket branches, boutiques, banks, pharmacies, salons and restaurants, inviting them to tell their store’s story - whether it’s a big idea or a small but powerful act of kindness.

Organised by customer interaction management specialists Critizr, monthly winners are being selected, with one overall team set to be crowned ‘Proudest Store 2022’ in July by a panel of retail experts including Adam Leyland, Editor of the Grocer; Anthony Hawman from TheIndustry.fashion; Natalie Berg from the BRC; Paul Barnes, CEO of the Association of International Retail; Steve Collinge from Insight DIY; and last year’s Proud of My Store winner Claire Saunders, Manager at the Co-op.

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.

New Look Store Manager Serena Martinez

Store Manager Serena Martinez, said: "This is a wonderful honour and our whole team is thrilled to have our hard work recognised in the Proud of My Store competition. I’ve been in retail for my whole career and our success is down to some simple mantras that I live by – ones that I’ve also coached my team to follow. Firstly, this is the customers’ store! We work here, but we’re here for customers, and we need to create an amazing vibe so that they feel the positive energy as soon as they come through the door."

Peter Rodgers, Head of Retail for New Look North, commented: "I’m proud to see our South Shields team working to build a strong service culture that is inclusive of everyone, where anyone who enters the stores feels a part of our New Look family. They really show they care for their customers and are genuinely living our brand values!"

Critizr Co-founder and CEO Nicolas Hammer added his congratulations to the South Shields New Look team. He concluded: "Serena’s story of team spirit and an absolute focus on the store experience stood out for our judges. This genuine, positive love of making customers happy and the drive to make a local store visit memorable is what brings people back again and again to buy from a brand.

"New Look South Shields clearly has this in abundance, as well a strong growth mindset of constantly wanting to improve and evolve the customer experience. Serena and her team, alongside the whole of New Look should be very proud."

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