The team at Tong Garden Centre are celebrating after winning four awards at the North East and North West regional Garden Centre Association (GCA) awards.
Tong collected awards in four out of eight categories for the North East region. It won Garden Centre of the Year in Destination Garden Centre Category and also won the GIMA Award for Gardening, the Best Outdoor Living Award for Best Outdoor Living Retailer and Best Indoor Lifestyle Award for Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer.
Tong’s Commercial Director, Sharon McNair picked up the awards at the presentation that was hosted by Tong on 2nd September: “We’re so proud of our team and absolutely delighted that their hard work has been rewarded with these awards in what has been a very challenging year. The team have faced staff shortages, stock issues and pandemic conditions, but have continued to give our customers exceptional service and a great experience.”
The GCA is a group of 163 garden centres that champions professionalism and membership is only awarded to businesses that pass a stringent audit covering all aspects of garden centre retailing excellence. The results of the annual audit, for which Tong was awarded Highly Commended, form the basis for the awards. Tong will now go forward to the national awards taking place in January at the annual GCA conference.
GCA Inspector Alyson Haywood said: “Tong Garden Centre continues to build an exceptional experience for the customer and is well deserving of Destination Garden Centre of the Year in the North East region. Inspirational displays and a fantastic choice for customers across gardening ranges, lifestyle retailing and outdoor living as well as a content-rich website that has clearly been built with the user in mind stood out as areas of excellence during the judging.”
Established in 1966, the GCA believes in sharing information and experiences at all levels, from senior management to the shop floor. Every year, its members must undergo a comprehensive annual inspection to ensure they continue to meet the stringent criteria set out by the association and therefore maintain membership.
Tong Garden Centre occupies a 19 acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire’s biggest independent garden centres with 125,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 700 cars.