David O Jones Mitre 10 national Store of the Year

STAWELL - David O Jones Mitre 10 in Stawell and now in Ararat, has won the Mitre 10 group's prestigious Ian Nesbit Store of the Year award.

The award was announced at the Mitre 10 annual conference on the Gold Coast.

A surprised and delighted David Jones said from the conference he was really taken back by it.

"This is a very prestigious award and recognises the efforts and endeavour of our whole family and our store teams."

The Ian Nisbet Award is the longest running and the most prestigious of the store awards for the Mitre 10 group.

The award namesake, Mr Ian Nisbet, celebrated his 90th birthday in 2011 and is one of Mitre 10's founding fathers.

To be in the running for this award stores must meet (but are not limited to) the following criteria:

- Epitomises the Mitre 10 brand.

- Lives the Mitre 10 values.

- Shapes the industry.

- Best in Group.

- Loyal to the Mitre 10 brand.

David Jones said the 25 staff at the Stawell store, a mix of permanent and casual and the 20 staff members at the Ararat Mitre 10 store would all be proud of this achievement.

"We are all 100 percent loyal to the group and love the brand and what it represents," he said.

"Over the 30 years with Mitre 10 we have been through some bad and good times, but we have stuck with Mitre 10.

"This really is a family run business and the entire family have worked in the store over the years. Chris and Simon have been the mainstays and guiding lights.

"We are approaching 30 years with Mitre 10 and are planning a big celebration. We hope all our loyal customers will join in.

"We are extremely fortunate to have built up some great relationships with our customers and the community through various sponsorships of sporting clubs and charities over that time."

The customer base is a mixture of trade and retail 50/50 and the stores have a very popular homewares department, headed up by David's wife Margaret.

"She does a fantastic job and I'm not just saying that to be popular - Credit where it is due."

Mr Jones said the store won a Hardware Association of Victoria (HAV) Award two years ago, but this is the first Mitre 10 national recognition.

"This truly is a great achievement for my family and staff. We hope it inspires other members to be passionate about their business, the younger generation particularly," he said.

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