Shop is toast of the UK after winning award

The Works manager Debbie Challoner, right and sales assistant Chloe Holme.
The Works manager Debbie Challoner, right and sales assistant Chloe Holme.
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A shop on the Freeport Fleetwood retail park has won an award ahead of more than 300 other UK branches.

The port’s outlet of The Works won the company’s annual Store Standards Competition after being judged on a variety of sales figures and the atmosphere in the shop.

Winning this competition is great news for the team and for Fleetwood

Debbie Challoner

After winning both the area and the regional stages of the competition, the Fleetwood branch captured the main national prize for the first time, beating every other branch of The Works in the country.

Store manager Debbie Challoner was presented with a trophy and a £2,000 prize fior the team when the company’s CEO, Kevin Keenan, made a surprise visit to announce the branch had won.

Debbie, 37, who grew up in Fleetwood but now lives in St George’s Avenue, Cleveleys, is part of an eight-strong team at the store, which sells books, arts, crafts and toys. The store is one of the longest established outlet at Freeport.

She said: “Winning this competition is great news for the team and for Fleetwood. “We have beaten 337 other branches across the whole country to win it.

“It is all down to hard work from everyone who works here, we have a great team.

“We have been involved in the competition since November and it has been quite intense. We knew we were one of two stores to reach the final two, the other one was in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.

“We were told the CEO would walk in here with a camera team at 11.30am if we had won, so on the day we were watching that door.

“When he came here with the cameras, I burst into tears!”

Debbie has worked in the store for 16 years but has been the manager there for four years.

The Works HQ is based at Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham.