A post office has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award

A village post office has been shortlisted for a national industry award for best small independent retailer.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th June 2019, 9:06 am
West Boldon Post Office owners Sean and Katie Hudson are on the finals of the Indepent Retail Post Office Awards 2019

West Boldon Post Office and Village Stores, in Addison Road, is a finalist in the running to win a national Post Office Limited award, this Saturday, June 22. 

Sean and Katie Hudson, who took over the business in April 2017, are hoping to be crowned winners of the Independent Retailer of the Year category, at a gala presentation dinner in Birmingham. 

West Boldon Post Office owners Sean and Katie Hudson are on the finals of the Indepent Retail Post Office Awards 2019

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Despite only being in business for just over two years, the couple have been nominated for three national retail awards in that time, including twice for best independent retailer. 

“Last year in 2018 we were one of around 10 finalists in our category in London but missed out on the title,” said Sean. “We’re really pleased to be a finalist again this year and hope to be able to come back to South Tyneside this time as winners for all our customers.” 

The couple are up against competition from all over the country and face eight rivals for the title, many of whom have run their businesses for several years.

Sean continued: “When we bought the business there was a store but the Post Office counter had been closed for most of three years before we took over and had only been open for 6 months in that time. So, it was pretty much a standing start for us with the post office counter, as customers had moved away." 

The post office has since become a hub of the community, at a time when others in South Tyneside are facing closure – including branches in Cleadon and The Nook, South Shields. 

The West Boldon store is also one of only a few newsagents in the area to still offer newspaper home delivery, and provide a “ring and bring” service to elderly or less mobile customers.

“If you need it and if we stock it, ring us and we’ll bring it for you,” explained Sean. 

The finalists will be judged independently by a panel of Post Office and retail experts.