Two news retailers from Harrogate have found themselves making headlines after winning at the prestigious 2016 NFRN Awards, organised by the National Federation of Regional Newsagents.
Brian Moses, the owner of The Bookstall at Harrogate railway station, was unveiled as the UK’s top newsagent, and Yakuta Bhaiji of Harrogate Distribution was recognised for his outstanding effort to develop his home news delivery (HND) business by being awarded the Store2Door Service of the Year award.
Both men received their trophies at a glittering London awards ceremony, which was attended by more than 400 people, including print media publishers, news wholesalers, politicians and independent retailers.
Harrogate Bookstall beat five other finalists from across the UK to scoop the new Newsagent of the Year Award, which recognises commitment to the development of newspaper and magazine sales.
The judges praised it for having one of the most extensive newspaper and magazine ranges for miles, with 1,400 weekly and monthly publications, 11 local newspapers covering as far afield as Scarborough, Whitby and Darlington, a variety of foreign titles and 31 railway magazines.
The judges were also impressed with Mr Moses’ commitment and customer service.
Meanwhile, no other entry received as many testimonials as that submitted by Harrogate Distribution, with more than 200 from delighted customers.
When it launched in 1998 Harrogate Distribution had 257 customers, but these days it is North Yorkshire’s biggest distributor of news and magazines, with 2,500 residential customers and more than a 100 commercial ones.
It employs 57 youngsters and eight adult staff who deliver punctually 100 per cent of the time, irrespective of the weather! The business is currently run from a retail unit and a village hall but has grown so much that Mr Bhaiji is now looking out for bigger premises.
The NFRN Awards are held annually to recognise and reward excellence in news and convenience retailing.