H&T and The Money Shop among big winners at London meet.
The National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) held its annual conference and awards ceremony in London last week, presenting prizes in five categories to individuals and businesses excelling in the sector.
The event at the Hotel Russell brought together professionals and pawnbrokers from across the UK, with the NPA‘s conference focused on the theme of ‘Driving Business Forward’, with talks from jewellery experts, metals market analysts, the FCA and security experts. Delegates were also treated to a talk from guest speaker Barry Hearn, credited with popularising snooker as a globally televised sport.
The NPA also used the event to elect a new president, with Paul Smit stepping into the shoes of Margot Walker after "three years great service". Walker was praised for her significant involvement in overseeing changes across the pawnbroking industry, including the arrival of FCA regime and welcomed many new faces.
The conference was followed the NPA awards dinner, hosted by its chief executive Ray Perry and newly-elected president Smit.
Speaking about the awards and conference, Perry said: "It was wonderful to bring everyone together after the NPA conference during the day to jointly celebrate the pawnbroking industry and our members’ excellent work. Thanks to everyone that entered the different awards categories, the judges had a tough job selecting winners from the outstanding entries.
"We are also delighted to have raised nearly £7,000 for the NSPCC at the awards dinner. A huge thanks to all our members for their generosity."
NPA Awards Winners 2014
Store of the Year
Winner: H&T, Dagenham
Judges praised H&T Dagenham for its presentation of stock and strong link with local community. The store reported a 4% increase in business over the last year and offered good local promotions.
Winner: Cashbrokers, Chesterfield
Cashbrokers’ new franchisee showed exceptional customer service, explaining pawnbroking in a professional and transparent way to its customers. The store also exceeded targets by over 100%.
Winner: H&T – Easter Promotion
H&T’s Easter egg promotion was praised by judges for engaging both staff and customers. 7,183 Easter eggs were delivered to local children’s hospices.
Highly Commended: N&R Pawnbrokers
Employee of the Year
Winner: Alan Thomson, The Money Shop Edinburgh
Alan Thomson has over 20 years’ experience in the pawnbroking industry. He was praised by the judges for improving the stores overall performance and has become the go-to expert on any item from guitars to porcelain to watches.
Highly Commended: Danielle Lord, The Gold Emporium
Winner: Ben Hill, H&T – Kingston National Pawnbrokers Association www.thenpa.com