Sunderland Retail Award winners toasted

National Retailer of the year award, Winners The Body Shop. Manager Maureen Richardson.
National Retailer of the year award, Winners The Body Shop. Manager Maureen Richardson.
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THE great and good from shops across Sunderland were toasting their success at this year’s annual Retail Awards.

And it was a night to remember for Maureen Richardson, pictured, and the staff from The Body Shop who scooped the ultimate accolade, National Retailer of the Year.

Maureen said: “I’m really happy that we’ve won. This is the best team I’ve ever worked with. All the girls give 100 per cent.”

Last night’s event was held in The Bridges and hosted by Simon Grundy from Sun FM and Miss Sunderland, Tamzin Cummings, while Council Leader Paul Watson made a speech about the city’s fight to stay prosperous through the recession.

He said: “The continued success and growth of the city centre retail sector is vitally important to the future success of the city.”

“Sunderland is a great place to spend time and money. The awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise and celebrate Sunderland’s excellent local retailers. I’m very proud of what our city has to offer.”

Sunderland Retail Awards were launched last year as part of the Council’s Shop Sunderland First campaign. Winners were chosen by public vote and through a mystery shopper point score system. Last year 1,800 people voted, while this year almost 8,000 voted for their favourite shops and services.

* For a full round up of winners and report from the night, see tomorrow’s Echo.