28 Nov 2021

Portlaoise shop breaks into the Top30 retail stores in Ireland

portlaoise shopping

Ladonna and Mark

Nook and Cranny Gift Shop in Portlaoise's Main Street has broken into the Ireland's Top30 retail stores in the Retail Excellence AIBMS Awards 2018.

The Awards recognise, reward and celebrate outstanding performance and vision by stores, places, people, websites and suppliers throughout the Irish retail industry – there were almost 600 applicants from various retail stores across the country.

As part of the initial Top100 selection process, all store entrants were visited by an independent mystery shopper, with those exceeding service and standards criteria making it into the Top100 stores.

The Top100 were then invited to a private briefing with London based creative retail agency; Echo chamber, who track global retail trends, in August at the AIB Bank Centre. Here the attendees were all presented with details of the ‘10 pillars of Retail Excellence’ and were given time to prepare a detailed submission showing evidence as to how their business meets those 10 pillars. 

Echo chamber then considered these submissions and proceeded to select the Top30 stores - with Nook and Cranny securing a place therein. 

The Top30 stores have just this week been personally visited for rigorous testing by retail futurist Matthew Brown of Echochamber and David Fitzsimons (Group Chief Executive of Retail Excellence). They covered 30 stores in a 5 day / 11 county, road trip and were followed by a video & camera crew who took promotional footage of each store.

The visiting retail experts described the store when they left as being 'very impressive with amazing product in a beautifully curated setting. Nook and Cranny in Portlaoise is a gorgeous gallery of gift ideas’.

"We’re absolutely delighted to advise you that Nook and Cranny; our gift shop in Portlaoise has achieved a Top30 store of the year status in the Retail Excellence AIBMS Awards 2018. We hope to do Laois proud in the final part of this prestigious competition," said Ladonna McCartan of Nook & Cranny.

The Retail Excellence competition culminates in a prestigious awards ceremony in Killarney on Saturday 10th November where the Top 3 finalists and winners in sectoral categories will be announced.

Previous winners of the Store of the Year include Avoca, Tilestyle, Applegreen, Arboretum, O’Briens wines, Galvins
for men, Greenacres and Garveys Supervalu in Tralee.

Here's what one reviewer said about the shop on TripAdvisor.

"When I stepped into this unique store I was actually just browsing...having a peek and there and behold I found a present I wanted to give to my sister it was a lovely star made out of wood with the family in the centre and it was good value and because there was no box with it (which I would have preferred) I got an instant 10% off and she is so friendly too.

"Found out they own the Pantry down at the square too and I am sure that is great service. But remember if you are unsure ask and she would be more than happy to help you. Oh at Xmas they have a lovely display of santa going down the chimney its actually a video on a tv at the window and they also do a halloween theme too with ghosts playing music. So a must see for the children," wrote Noreen D from Portlaoise.



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