The current holders of the RETAILER OF THE YEAR award, Kate Methuen-Ley and Helen Corsi from Tiger Stores, talk to us about what winning their award has meant to them.
1. What made you decide to enter the Cardiff Business Awards?
We are a relatively young business, having opened our first store in Cardiff’s St David’s Centre in December 2013. At first, entering the awards was a chance for us to see if we were doing as well as we thought we were.
When you’re growing as fast as we are, you get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business and entering the Cardiff Business Awards was not only a chance for us to step back and look at our achievement and vision objectively, but also to get some feedback from experts in business and entrepreneurship who were part of the judging panel.
We’re an ambitious company on an extremely steep growth curve, so the second reason for us was if we could win a Cardiff Business Award it would only strengthen our belief in our business and the belief of the financial institutions that support us.
And finally as an augural awards in the Cardiff business scene we felt we had to be part of something supported by the capital’s business community, after getting so much support from this community when we were starting out - where better to gain some high profile recognition for our business and its achievements?
2. What has winning an Award meant for you and your business?
Our employees were so proud; we made them all a badge to wear, which says ‘We won Retail Business of the Year, because of me.’ Our employees are what make our business and they are fiercely loyal so we were delighted we could help them feel rewarded for all their hard work.
Without them we wouldn’t be as successful as we have been so far. It has also been a great way to showcase our business to new and wider audiences. Our award is certainly a great icebreaker when suppliers visit our office, and it also gives them a sense of security in us as a client.
3. What did you think of the Awards ceremony itself?
It was very grand! What a glittering location! It really made us feel part of the Cardiff business community. Not only were the categories we were shortlisted in full of really strong and well-known competitors, but the attendees came from a great cross-section of all the business sectors that Cardiff represents. The awards were professionally run with a quality host and all the finalists getting equal exposure…plus the bubbly was flowing!!
4. What has happened in the business since the Awards took place last summer? How is the rest of the year looking for you?
We have opened three more stores - two in Wales and one in Bristol and we are just about to open our 8th store in April. We ended 2015 with great results, even better than we expected, and with a team of 30 more staff. Our hard work and the hard work of our teams continues to pay off, it’s such an exciting time. And of course we will be trying to see off the challengers for our crown as Retail Business of the Year!!
5. Finally, in your opinion, how important are awards like these to businesses?
They are hugely important, not only do they allow us to gain recognition for our achievements from industry leaders, but also it’s an integral way for us to say thank you to our employees. The sense of community it engenders not only in the business community but also in our team is invaluable.
Tiger in Wales is located in St David's Centre in Cardiff, Cwmbran Shopping Centre, Friar's Walk in Newport, and St Catherine's Walk in Carmarthen. Follow Tiger Stores on Twitter at @TigerStores or visit the website at http://www.tigerstores.co.uk/