Sweatshop announced as National Business Awards finalist


Congratulations to Run England's partners at Hampton based running retailer Sweatshop, who have been shortlisted for the Customer Focus Awards for the 2014 National Business Awards.

Sweatshop is the leading specialist running retailer in the UK and was voted the nation’s favourite by runners in the National Running Awards earlier this year. The brain-child of Chris Brasher, founder of the London Marathon and Olympic gold medallist, the business has, for some 43 years, been helping runners “be the best they can be”.

Going up against The Bread Factory and Transport for London they will compete for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the National Business Awards gala dinner held on 11 November at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Natalie Calvert, CEO, Calcom Group, who was the shortlist judge for the category, said: “Brilliantly challenging the traditional retail environment by taking customer service and community engagement to the next level by innovating and extending its traditional retail shops into a UK wide free running customer community has successfully enabled Sweatshop to significantly increase customer satisfaction, employee engagement and business performance. A runaway success!”

Nick Pearson, Managing Director of Sweatshop commented on becoming a finalist: “Becoming a finalist for this award is testament to our commitment to delivering ground breaking customer service day in day out across our stores nationwide. We invest in our teams, providing an extensive professional development training programme, including for example, Breast Health, breast science and bra fitting training, which is delivered by the University of Portsmouth. I’m looking forward to going through the judging process and hearing the winners at the event in November.”

Britain’s leading businesses, business leaders and social enterprises have today been revealed as finalists for the 2014 National Business Awards. The finalists announced today represent categories including the Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year, Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year and the Inflexion International Growth Business of the Year.

The Leader of the Year finalists and Decade of Excellence winner will be announced over the coming months, with the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year finalists announced last month following a judging event in Liverpool.

This year’s shortlisted businesses cover activities as diverse as retail, technology, men’s grooming products, telecoms, construction, advertising, entertainment, and publishing. Of the businesses shortlisted, 24% turnover under £5m, 26% turnover between £5m and £25m, 15% over a billion and 10% not for profit organisations. The smallest business recognised has a turnover of just £23k with the largest reaching £20 billion. With finalists collectively employing over 850,000 people, the smallest has just one member of staff while the largest employs around 165,000 people globally.

Alex Evans, Programme Director of the National Business Awards said: “The diversity and quality of this year’s finalists have firmly established the National Business Awards as the talent scout for UK plc, with market leading household names recognised alongside the best emerging business brands. With a variety of industries represented, these recovery-leading businesses have demonstrated the return on investment in people, innovation, customer service and leadership.”

Finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 17 award categories. They will now prepare for live presentations to expert juries who will decide the overall winners that will be revealed at the awards ceremony on 11 November.

Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk for a full list of all finalists and to attend the event.

The National Business Awards supports The Prince’s Trust, a charity that offers practical and financial support to young people who need it.

Run England members can benefit from a £15 voucher for non-sale running shoes at Sweatshop which is sent out in our eRunner newsletter. Sign up for free here.

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