The team at Stratford ITM certainly has the winning formula for what makes a Top Shop.

For the third year in a row, the store was named Central Taranaki Regional Award Winner at the TSB Top Shop awards evening on Saturday night.

Stratford ITM is owned by Mike and Kym Henry who employ more than 20 staff. Kym says the win reflects the dedication of all the staff at the store.

"It really is a team effort, everyone here gives their best everyday. From answering phones, keeping the shop itself tidy and welcoming, to sending out accounts and assisting customers and clients, every one of our staff does a fantastic job."

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Kym says having won the award before, she really didn't expect to come away with the win again.

"There are so many great shops in Stratford, it's a real honour to even be in the finals at all."

As well as winning the regional award, the store also received a Highly Commended in the large format store category which covered stores all over Taranaki. It wasn't the first time for this award either for the store. They received Highly Commended in the category last year as well, and won it in 2017.

Kym says while the team knows they have been entered, it's more a case of keeping on doing what they always do, than putting in extra effort.

"We are so busy, we just keep on doing what we do every day. Regardless of awards, we strive to offer a great customer experience for everyone who comes in."

Stratford ITM wasn't the only Stratford business to do well on the night. In the Automotive category, Central Taranaki Automotive received a Highly Commended while the New Plymouth branch of Cook Honda won it.

Over 13,000 nominations from the public were received for this year's awards. The top 10 businesses in each category were then mystery shopped by a panel of judges using a set criteria for marking, with the top point scorers then re-judged to determine the Regional and Supreme winners.

With marks in all categories exceptionally close this year, Highly Commendeds were also awarded in each of the eight categories.


WINNERS:
Fashion, Footwear and Accessories:
Highly Commended - Footloose
Winner:Ziera
Lifestyle and Leisure:
Highly Commended - Mitre 10 Mega
Winner - House of Travel New Plymouth
Speciality Store:
Highly Commended - New Plymouth Vet Group
Winner - Bianca Lorenne
Health and Beauty:
Highly Commended - CU Hair and Caci New Plymouth
Winner - Blackbird Society
Automotive:
Highly Commended - Central Taranaki Automotive
Winner - Cooks Honda New Plymouth
Large Format:
Highly Commended - Stratford ITM
Winner - Clegg Furnishers
Food and Beverage:
Highly Commended - Lemonwood Eatery
Winner - Koi Lounge
Accessibility Award:
Highly Commended - Pak'n Save Hāwera
Winner - Egmont Seafoods