Silvertown shopkeeper wins top competition

A retailer has won a national competition aimed at helping shopkeepers to find ways to improve their business.

Mr Sanmugalingam Pirapakaran of Mace (S&M) Supermarket in Constance Street, Silvertown is the winner of the 2012 Unilever Partners for Growth Mentoring Competition.

He has won �1,500 to invest in improvements for his store, plus the advice of leading lights in the retail industry on where this would be best directed.

The cheque was presented by East Ham MP, Stephen Timms, who spent time discussing the changes Mr Pirapakaran is making to his store with the support of Partners for Growth, as well as the challenges faced by retailers.

Mr Timms has offered ongoing support to the shopkeeper to ensure that he is well placed to provide valued service to the community.

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The Partners for Growth team visited Mr Pirapakaran’s store in Victoria Docks where they reviewed the layout, the stock, the general offering and discussing the facts and figures.

The team will now start the process of drawing up the recommendations which cover short, medium and long terms, some of which will be no-cost to implement and others will be opportunities for the �1,500 investment.

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Dean Holborn, a retailer and member of the Partners for Growth team, is working closely with Mr Pirapakaran.

He said: “Retailers are under more pressure than ever before, both in terms of finances but also from anti-social behaviour in their communities. We will be able to offer Sanmugalingam support and advice which will help him to become a central figure in his community and ensure his store continues to thrive.”

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