Businesses from across Merthyr Tydfil town centre were recognised at the Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre Awards on Wednesday 9th November. Some 50 businesses attended the special awards ceremony at Redhouse to receive their certificates and celebrate their achievements.
The event follows on from a mystery shopper exercise undertaken in the town centre which highlighted the excellent overall experience and service that customers receive. In total, just over 150 businesses were visited by the mystery shoppers and all will receive feedback from the visit including areas of excellence and areas for potential improvement.
The awards were divided into three categories – Retail, Hospitality and Health & Beauty – with businesses receiving a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze Award. In total, 14 town centre businesses – Pandora, Flower Pots of Love, Holland & Barrett, Sweet Essence, Maridene Curtains, Merthyr Optical Centre, Darlington Opticians, H.J. Aylward, Savers, Viazzani Station Cafe, Woodfired, Hairport, Darko’s Barbershop and Top Nails – achieved the highest accolade of a Platinum Award whilst other businesses achieved very positive results, receiving Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
There were also special awards for the highest scoring businesses in each category with Pandora winning in the National / Multiple Retailer category with Holland & Barrett as runners-up. In the Independent Retailer category, there were joint winners: Flower Pots of Love and Sweet Essence. Viazzani Station Cafe and Woodfired were joint winners in the Hospitality Business category whilst Hairport came top in the Health & Beauty category with Darko’s Barbershop as runner up.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Paul Gray, Chair of Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre Partnership said how delighted he was to see so many of Merthyr’s businesses represented at the awards event. He commented,
“I think this reflects the pride we have in our town and in the services we offer to our customers.”
In noting the physical regeneration of the town centre in the last few years and the recent award of a top 5 place for Best High Street in the UK, he went on to say, “When you look at our town in 2016, given the many challenges that we’ve had in the recent past, you can see that Merthyr has become a real jewel across the Heads of the Valleys.”
Les Byard, Chair of The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil said,
“I want to offer my congratulations to all the businesses who have received awards. To see so many successful town centre business being recognised for their exemplary service is excellent news. It shows how well Merthyr’s businesses are adapting to the challenges of today’s business environment where excellent service is a key ingredient to success on the high street.”
Focused on the outcomes of the mystery shopper exercise, Merthyr Tydfil Council is arranging a series of free workshops for businesses to support further improvements in areas such as customer services, social media skills and visual merchandising, including an exciting partnership with Marks & Spencer to deliver professional Visual Merchandising workshops.
The mystery shopper survey was jointly organised by The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil Business Improvement District and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. Businesses were assessed across a range of measures including the overall appearance of the building exterior, the quality of the window display, how products were displayed inside, staff interaction, product knowledge and the ability to resolve problems and answer queries.