ENTRIES for this year’s Retail Awards are already flooding in.
The event, designed to champion local shops and their staff, was a huge success last year and organisers are hoping it will be bigger and better in 2012.
The black tie ceremony will be held in The Bridges where guests can expect glitz and glamour at the end of the red carpet.
Andy Bradley, centre director of the shopping centre, said: “We are thrilled to announce that The Bridges will be hosting the 2012 Retail Awards in partnership with Sunderland City Council and the Sunderland Echo for the second year running.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to highlight our retailers and thank them for their continued commitment to the city.
“The Retail Awards is a great night that turns the spotlight on our city. It is a well-deserved reward for our retailers and showcases the best of Sunderland’s great shopping experience.”
The awards are open to all retailers within the SR postcode. One shop that has already been put forward for the Independent Retailer of the Year is Costcutter, in Railway Terrace, South Hylton.
The family-run business has been providing quality customer service for 17 years and owner Bob Gill is over the moon that customers are coming forward to nominate his shop.
He said: “I was really surprised and shocked when I found out, but it’s nice to know we are getting it right and shoppers appreciate that.
“All my staff live in this area and everybody knows each other. It’s a really friendly community. My kids were born here and they have grown up in the shop. Now they help out here so all the customers know it’s a family affair.”
Bob runs the Costcutter shop with his wife Jas and his two sons Ravi and Kieron. Six months ago the family took over the post office as well to the relief of customers who were worried they were going to lose this essential service.
“Everyone thought they would end up losing the post office,” said Bob. “So they were pleased when we took it on.
“I just want to say a big thank-you for everyone’s support. It’s a real motivator and it will keep us going knowing they like what we do.”