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“We are absolutely blown away at winning”

The winners of the independent and multiple retail award categories at last week’s Progressive Preschool Awards have been sharing their joy with PreschoolNews.net – expressing their delight at having their efforts of the past 12 months recognised by the industry.

Karen Hewitt, buying director at Character.com – which won Best Online Retailer of Preschool Products, plus Best Preschool Apparel Range for its Peppa Pig x Team GB daywear collection with Aykroyd & Sons – commented: “We at Character.com are always so delighted and grateful to win any award, but we are honoured to be recognised as Best Online Retailer at the Progressive Preschool Awards.

“It’s a great acknowledgment of how hard the team work and the great partnerships we have built with everyone we work with. We are truly very thankful to even be nominated so to win is just a really great feeling.”

Meanwhile, Roseanne Winthrop, partner and category lead, nursery at John Lewis & Partners – which was awarded Best Department Store – said: “We were delighted to hear that John Lewis had won Best Department Store at the Progressive Preschool Awards. We are so glad that the nursery, baby and preschool ranges that we carefully curate for our customers, as well as our service is being recognised.”

Hayley White, toy buyer at B&M, which picked up Best Mixed Retailer of Preschool Products – said that the team was “delighted” with the award.

“It’s come as a real shock to us!” Hayley exclaimed. “It’s so nice to be recognised for our hard work.”

Meanwhile, Geoff Sheffield, chief commercial officer at The Entertainer, paid tribute to the tough nature of all the finalists in the Best Multiple Retailer of Preschool Products category.

“We are proud and delighted that The Entertainer won Best Multiple Retailer of Preschool Products at the Progressive Preschool Awards 2021,” Geoff commented. “We were up against some tough finalists, but it’s a reflection of how hard everyone has worked across the business to deliver a fantastic range and experience for our customers. A huge thank you to the whole team.”

There was more joy from the winners of the independent retailer categories.

Sarah and Lee Borastero from Kids Stuff Wells (pictured above) – winner of Best Independent Toy Retailer – commented: “We are absolutely blown away at winning the best independent toy shop in the country. Thank you to everyone that voted for us. We haven’t quite been able to wipe the smiles off our faces yet and still cannot quiet believe it.

“We would also like to thank our children Jasmine, Thomas, Meghan and Florence who all help to run our toy shop. It is a whole family effort.”

Julia Warnes from Odd Socks – winner of Best Independent Apparel Retailer – said that she was “over the moon” to get the news of the win.

She commented: “Retail is full of highs and lows, and just when I needed a pick me up this happened! I’m delighted for me and my team and for high street shopping. Thank you so much and I hope this will help boost our profile and lead to greater things.”

Finally, Bumpstart Baby Shop’s Susannah said that it was “an honour” to be recognised with the win for Best Independent Nursery Retailer.

“It was an honour to be recognised and even make it as a finalist, so you can imagine our delight and surprise when Bumpstart Baby Shop was announced over the speakers,” she said. “I am so glad we had our ‘dream team’ in attendance to collect the award they have all worked so hard for.

“We would like to thank our dedicated team, our fantastic supportive suppliers and loyal customer base (and, of course, Progressive Preschool!) who have all played their part in helping us win this impressive award.”

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