Sunderland convenience store scoops Newsagent of the Year award

Sisters Kim Huitson and Natalie Cowell of Wilson's Convenience Store, with their Independent Newsagent of the Year Award
Sisters Kim Huitson and Natalie Cowell of Wilson's Convenience Store, with their Independent Newsagent of the Year Award
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A business has been billed as the best in the trade after scooping a national award for delivering the news.

Wilson’s Convenience Store, in Queen Alexandra Road, Ashbrooke, won Newsagent of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards.

It’s a real family achievement.

Natalie Cowell

It beat two other finalists to the top title after trumping others from a UK shortlist.

The shop is run by sisters Natalie Cowell, 33, and Kimberley Huitson, 31, who bought the store after their parents Richard, 63, and Denise, 64, took semi-retirement.

Natalie travelled down to the Grosvenor Hotel in London, with Kimberley manning the shop, as it is too busy since they launched a Post Office counter inside the shop earlier this month.

Natalie, who attended the ceremony with husband Sandy and is mum to Lana, seven, said: “We were thrilled and overwhelmed.

“Our parents were nominated three times for the award, but didn’t win, but all their years of work and our efforts have paid off.

“They started it and then we have put our own spin on things because we’re a bit younger.

“It’s a real family achievement.”

Wilson’s was presented with its award as comedian Milton Jones led the glittering event.

Newspapers and their delivery accounts for a quarter of its business – most similar stores can account for 5% of their sales.

A team of 27 delivery staff, aged from 13 to 18, are employed to complete the morning and evening rounds.

They ensure up to 700 papers are delivered each week.

Their pay is performance related, with a points system used as well as a gold, silver and bronze level of pay given.

Natalie and Kimberley, who is married to Rhys, 30, and is mum to Leo, three, and Mia, one, took on the business five years ago.

Their parents bought the shop in 2000.

In addition to the family, it also employs three other workers, with the business open seven days a week.

The shop was nominated by News UK, which owns The Sun and The Times.