Brian and Liz Shinnick of SPAR, McDermott Place, Fermoy at the annual SPAR 5 Star Awards in Killashee House Hotel, Kildare with Barry Doyle SPAR regional manager; Con Healy, SPAR Clondrohid and Roy O'Mahony, SPAR retail operations advisor. (Karl Hussey/Fennell Photography)

Within the North Cork area, a total of six SPAR stores were awarded one of retail’s highest honours at the annual 5 Star Awards held in County Kildare.

Amongst the select award winners were Shinnick’s SPAR, Fermoy, one of 96 stores nationwide which received recognition for winning 5 Star Awards for five years in a row.

Shinnick’s SPAR have now received a 5 Star Award for seven years running. Proprietor Brian Shinnick said stores across Ireland undergo various audits over the course of the year as part of the awards process.

Noreen Roche and Aisling Kennealy, SPAR Mitchelstown accepting the store’s award from Maurice Flynn, SPAR Retail Operations Advisor. (Colm Mahady/Fennell Photography)

“There are mystery shoppers who come in and look for cleanliness and value for money, things like that. Various audits are done internally by BWG Foods, there’s about six different audits done in total. Some of them are done twice, we had two mystery shoppers in the during the year. It’s done on a point rating and at the end of it, if you get over a certain limit you get the 5 star award,” he commented.

Overall, 194 stores received 5 Star Awards, the other stores locally to receive awards were Downey’s SPAR Castletownroche and Roche’s SPAR Mitchelstown.

The awards, held in association with the Excellence Ireland Quality Association, were given to stores that demonstrated outstanding industry excellence following a year of comprehensive inspections, visits from mystery shoppers and audits.