SPAR Oxford Road in Manchester, winner of Independent Convenience Store of the Year

SPAR Oxford Road in Manchester has won Independent Convenience Store of the Year at the Convenience Awards 2024.

Owned by Paul Stone, multi-site SPAR independent retailer, the store underwent a comprehensive £250,000 11-day refit in January 2023 where every single piece of store equipment was replaced and modernised.

Aligned to shifting customer demand, the refurbishment also saw greater emphasis placed on Grab and Go and Big Night In themes to remain relevant in the competitive convenience marketplace.

It is the third time Paul Stone has won Independent Convenience Store of the Year after winning the accolade in 2019 with SPAR Princess Street and in 2015 also with SPAR Oxford Road.

Paul Stone, who has five city centre stores in Manchester, all serviced by James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win this award and it is a credit to the whole team for the excellent standards at the store. To win this award three times in a decade is a tremendous achievement and I’m very proud.

“My Oxford Road store has traded 24/7 ever since we opened 30 years ago, and it has had five major refits in that time. You cannot stand still in retail – you must continuously reinvest otherwise your business is going backwards.

“Through the changes we have made, sales are up 19%, even with new competition across the road, and my energy costs have been reduced by 28%.”

Aidan Fortune, Editor of Convenience Store, said: “The judges were blown away by the 24-hour effort that goes into making this store a success, with a huge focus on Feed Me Now and the Big Night In missions.

“The site underwent a major refit in early 2023 to improve its refrigeration, lighting and air conditioning while also introduce more shelf space to enhance its snacking and soft drinks offering.

“Beers, Wines and Spirits is a major category for the store, and the judging panel was impressed by the high standards on display that helps keep nearby competition at bay.”

James Hall & Co. Ltd is a fifth-generation family business which serves a network of independent SPAR retailers and company-owned SPAR stores across Northern England six days a week from its base at Bowland View in Preston.

For more information about James Hall & Co. Ltd, please visit