Seal of approval
For family run McDermott's Gala, the Gold Award in the less than 2,000 sq ft category was the cherry on top of a busy and successful year at the store. John McDermott explains to David Corscadden what the award means to the McDermott family and team in the shop
21 January 2014
Address: McDermott’s Gala
Owner: John McDermott
Size: 1,998 sq ft
Staff: 16; eight full and eight part-time
A tradition in retail is long rooted in the McDermott family and since 2010 John McDermott has carried on the tradition, taking over the shop his father first opened in 1988. While the shop and family name has a long connection with retail in Patrickswell, McDermott says the store has gone through many changes since he took it over from his father.
When he took over the reins, the store received an extensive refurbishment that saw it branded under a symbol group, Gala, which was a first in the history of the shop. The refurbishment also saw a change to Topaz for its petrol offering and a freshening up within the existing four walls. On the changes McDermott says: "I suppose the shop would be unrecognisable since those changes and that was the end of 2010."
McDermott believes change and updating is key to survival in the current climate to ensure a fresh, pleasant shopping environment for consumers. With this belief the store is set to undergo a new renovation this January that will see the addition of a dinner service in the shop to add to the already existing deli and bakery corner. McDermott explains the decision will make use of a seating area already in place in the store. He says: "We have looked at the menu and what we are offering on the food side of things and we have decided to go into offering cooked dinners during the day and that is something new for us."
Dedication to the consumer
McDermott believes the store’s emphasis on the customer and ensuring high quality service everyday helped it outshine the tough competition in its category at the C-Store Awards. While the shop offers value which matches the competition, McDermott believes it is this dedication to the consumer that has paid-off for the store, saying: "When you get a customer you have to make sure that you can hold them so we try to go the extra mile every time to ensure the highest standard regarding the customer experience."
He also adds that fellow retailers need to remember the shopping experience they offer the customer is important, saying: "If you can get the customer in and if you have the offer and a good service to the customer, it is key. We are a service industry and I think a lot of shops might have forgotten that in recent years but it is really time to focus on the customer now and hold on to everyone that you get."
An early Christmas present
The win at this year’s C-Store Awards came as an early Christmas present for McDermott and his team following a year of hard work. On the win McDermott explains: "A national award like that for us to get is a huge achievement and we are delighted to get it. What it does for the staff and myself coming up to Christmas is a huge boost and encouragement."
For McDermott’s father, who is retired from the business at this stage but still comes in from time to time, the award is a tremendous achievement for the store he started.
McDermott explains his father’s pride and eagerness to share the news with customers saying: "He is delighted and being able to come to the shop and tell people about what we have done and what we have achieved, it is a huge bonus to us and the whole family really."