Stuart Mackie of Buchandyke Filling Station in East Kilbride, Scotland, was announced winner of the Retailer of the Year Award at this week’s annual Pro-retail Awards in Telford, organised by leading wholesaler Palmer and Harvey.

The award – presented by Palmer and Harvey managing director Martyn Ward and collected by Alasdair MacDonald on the night - recognises excellence among forecourt, convenience store and CTN retailers. Stuart emerged the winner having increased in-store sales by 14.6% in the past year by providing the local village community with outstanding personal customer service, so much so that all customers and staff are on first name terms.

The store demonstrates its support for the community by helping out local charities and supporting the school fete and offering long opening hours, giving the community a place to shop and fill up when everywhere else is closed.

The awards night was run in conjunction with the annual two-day Pro-retail exhibition, now in its 33rd year, which showcased many new products, deals, innovations and services.

Initiatives from Palmer and Harvey included a social media hub, providing retailers with experts to advise them of the many benefits of using social media in their businesses, such as finding new customers, improving market intelligence and engaging with customers locally. Retailers could pick up a ‘how to’ guide specifically tailored for their use.

Palmer and Harvey has also published its first guide to best-selling products in the forecourt, convenience and CTN sectors, providing a ‘must-stock’ list for retailers.

Another initiative came from Discovery Risk Solutions (DRS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Palmer and Harvey, has developed a free risk-management app for independent and franchised retailers who have been the victims of theft, burglary and fraud.

The new Risk Management App provides a free service for users to report crime and to better understand the risks in their area, as well as delivering one-stop access to specialist advice and support across the UK.

Palmer & Harvey has also partnered with Telford Food Bank to provide locals with much-needed non-perishable good from the show. At the last count 40 of Palmer and Harvey’s generous suppliers donated just under ten tonnes of product to Telford Crisis Support, making it the single biggest donation in the charity’s history.