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Barkers beats off competition from major high street stores to win top award
JUST a few weeks before Christmas stockings will be hanging up in every home across Britain, Northallerton's flagship department store, Barkers, has been named top hosiery retailer.
The family-owned department store triumphed at the prestigious Stars Underlines Best Shop Awards when it was named Legwear Retailer of the Year at a glittering presentation night at the Cumberland Hotel in London, hosted by TV and radio presenter Vanessa Feltz. Barkers accessories department buyer Kate McCain collected the award, which was presented by Pretty Polly Sales Director Michael Scott, after the High Street store beat off competition from other leading department stores, including Fenwick and Browns.
Kate said: "We were nominated for the award by suppliers, and judges looked at the whole running of the department.
"Two years ago, we moved the department upstairs to the first floor, which was a huge risk because some companies have ruined their hosiery section by moving it off the its traditional place on the ground floor.
"But we have completely turned the department around and we are flying again, so the judges were impressed that we are doing so well.
"Our use of signs, displays and service made us the outright winner. The judges said we shone in what was a strong category, so we are extremely delighted."
Barkers Managing Director Charles Barker said: "It was a huge honour to be nominated for this top industry award, and even more special
that the judges said we were the clear winner.
"It was something we weren't expecting because we were nominated rather than entering ourselves, and we have beaten off competition from big city stores.
"Moving the hosiery department from the ground floor to the first floor was a big gamble, but it has paid off as the department is doing very well.
"We didn't just win, the judges said that our hosiery department stood out from all the competition, which is a tremendous coup."