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Sustainable success for Brockenhurst’s Welcome store

21 September 2022

Sustainable success for Brockenhurst's Welcome store

A local couple, who aim to offera plastic free choice in every area of their store, has been named Sustainability Retailer of the Year andMost Sustainable Retailer Initiative of the Yearat two national awards.

The Welcome store in Brockenhurst was recognised at the 2022Retail Industry Awards and the 2022Convenience Awards whichrecognises the very best people, retailers, suppliers and service providers across the UK.

According to theConvenience Awardsorganisers, judges praised the amazing work with local suppliers that has made real progress on improving sustainability. Its communication to shoppers was also highly commended by the judging panel.

Richard and Karen were brilliantly supported in the project by Sonjia Cooper, Store Manager, and Dani Ruiz-Perez, Area Manager, who will also be helping them rollout the next Zero Waste section in their Fair Oak Welcome store.

Richard Dance, who runs the Welcome convenience store with his wife Karen, said: "Sustainability is so important to us as we can't go on forever as we have done in the past. We must start somewhere.

"By giving people a plastic free choice and offering sustainable products day in and day out we hope to influence customers to make choices that will make a difference."

Last year, the store, in Brookley Road,wascrowned winners for New Store/Refit of the Year category at the 2021 Convenience Store Awards, and Post Office Retailer of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards 2021.

Living in the village themselves, Richard and Karen, have a range of sustainable offerings including a large range of plastic-free refill products, bring your own refill for fresh milk, a free water refill point, local supplier products, diverting all waste from landfill, compostable carrier bags, and using only 100% green energy.

They also focused on sustainability during the refit of the store such as flooring made from predominantly from recycled material, and reducing energy usage with doors on all chillers, full LED lighting and motion triggered lighting in the back of house to automatically turn lights off when not in use

Mike Fitton, Franchise Business Manager for Southern Co-op - of which the store is a franchise, said: "Richard and Karen don't just provide ways for their customers to live a more sustainable life, they also invest in local groups to make improvements elsewhere. For example, Richard is one of the founding committee members of the Greener Brockenhurst Group and donated £500 to get it started. They also sponsored the water refill station at the annual Brockenhurst festival - BrockStock.

"Welcome - Brockenhurst is a hub for sustainability as customers and suppliers rely on the store for eco-friendly provisions. Richard and Karen have gone above and beyond in order to make it as environmentally friendly as possible. There is no doubt that the couple will also continue to push the boundaries to make further improvements in the future."

The Welcome franchise group was also highly commended at the 2022Retail Industry Awards forSymbol/Franchise Group of the Year.

Southern Co-op has more than 60 franchise stores operating under the ‘Welcome' fascia across the south of England.

To find out more about Welcome - Brockenhurst, visit Or to find out more about Southern Co-op's franchise opportunities, visit