To mark The Sun’s 50th birthday, the newspaper has today announced its Retail Top 50 list of independent retailers who have all gone above and beyond, championing The Sun brand and launching charitable initiatives to improve the lives of people in their communities.
Top of the list is ‘The Telegraph News’ store in Swadlincote, Derbyshire which has been renamed as ‘The Sun’ to recognise the store’s efforts in selling over 2million copies of The Sun newspaper and being a leading Sun brand advocate.
In a special Sun 50th birthday present for retailer Mark Titterton and his team at James Retail, they received a brand new fascia complete with Sun branding and a £250 voucher to donate to a charity of their choice.
The donation follows the launch of The Sun’s year-long, £1million charity reader fund in Monday’s paper. Readers can nominate a charity to win up to £20,000 and can be nominated at: THESUN.CO.UK/50
Fourteen other ‘Sun champion’ retailers, selected for their loyalty to The Sun brand and support for their local communities were also rewarded with £250 and a Sun makeover, with the rest of the Top 50 receiving a commemorative Sun 50 birthday plaque and pride of place in The Sun’s Top 50 Retailers list.
A Sun branded campervan is visiting retailers across the country this week to help drive sales for stores, with roving reporters on board to capture all the action.
NFRN members in the top 15 include:
For 20 years Meet and Deep’s store in Twickenham (pictured below) has been at the centre of the local community. The store opened 364 days a year until one Christmas Day a regular customer knocked at the family home and begged for the store to open so he could purchase a phone card to make a special Christmas Day call to his mother. Every Christmas Day, the store now opens and serves mince pies and drinks to the community which has gone viral leading to donations for mince pies from as far afield as the USA.
Meanwhile Dalry newsagent Pauline Devlin’s daughters Rebecca and Jessica have collected over 10,000 of The Sun’s Books for Schools tokens to help children and schools in the local area. They achieved this huge feat by putting a voucher drop box on the counter and encouraging all customers to drop their vouchers in the box when they visited the shop. They even managed to convince non-Sun customers to purchase the newspaper and donate their tokens. As a result, they were able to help three local schools; Dalry Primary, St Paladuis and a primary school in Irvine.
Since downloading the Sun Savers app to see what all the fuss was about and to help in sharing the benefits of Sun Savers with all of his customers, Praful Patel, the owner of Newsmarket in Folkstone, won a football kit which he donated to local team Dynamo United FC Junior Team. Dynamo United are a group of enthusiastic year 7’s that consistently make the community proud with their team spirit and achievements.
Robert and Helen Bellamy have been at Racca Green Newsagents since 1968. Helen is no stranger to The Sun having once featured as Newsagent of the day in the paper. Robert and Helen started off managing the shop and later bought it in 1995 when they saw an advert for the store in the paper! The store’s sense of community is exemplified by a regular customer named Fred. Fred is in his 80’s and still walks 4 miles every morning to be at the store for 5am. He insists on always carrying the papers inside and will not let Helen carry any. Fred buys The Sun everyday and has done for each of the 50 years of the Sun. The store continues to be a community hub, supported and frequented by the local community.
Graham and Janice Freeman opened G&S Freeman in High Wycombe January 16th 1966. In June of 1967 they set up a daily ward trolley in Wycombe General Hospital selling newspapers to patients. The trolley service operated every day except Christmas Day. In addition to selling papers, Graham and Janice would do a bit of shopping for patients and place the occasional bet. The trolley service operated for 40 years until the hospital trust invested in a purpose-built shop and cafe on site. Now owned and managed by Stephen Freeman, the store has supported the Thames Valley Air ambulance with a collection point in store and are regular contributors and supporters of the life saving work of the Air Ambulance Service.
A JOHNSTON & SONS in Dundee, owned by Uniz Khan, is one of the best performing independent stores in Scotland and continues to champion The Sun brand in store.
Woodvale News in Belfast is one of the best performing independent retailers in Northern Ireland. The store is also a key link to the local community and strongly supports the local junior football club. Daughter and Partner of the business,
In addition to the Newsagents and Post Office, owner Ian Morgan of News Direct in Perth operates a fleet of vehicles delivering the news to homes and businesses across the area. The business continues to thrive, extending into the neighbouring building with more space for his loyal and hardworking staff (one of whom continues to deliver the papers well into his 70’s!) to sort papers for each of the paper rounds.
Wingham Newsagents in Canterbury has been serving the local community for over 100 years. For owner Kerry McGorrin the store and community have been a huge part of her life too. Kerry first worked delivering papers for the store back in the 1980’s, her mother then owned the store for over 13 years, and Kerry has gone from ‘paper girl’ to owner, owning the store for the last 6 years.
You can read the full list of 50 retailers here
The Sun editor-in-chief, Tony Gallagher said: “On this very big birthday, there’s two groups I especially want to thank along with our hard-working journalists. Our readers, without whom we would be without purpose. And our retailers, who work tirelessly across the country, getting up at the crack of dawn every day to sell our newspapers. A social history of Britain has been told through these pages for the last 50 years and we continue to set the news agenda and campaign to make a difference. Congratulations to our Top 50 Retailers who have gone about their work with quintessential Sun zeal and a big thank you to all our retailers for your continued support over the past 50 years.”
News UK Head of Retail Marketing Chris Hughes said: “Selecting our top 50 retailers was no easy task, as we know how hard all of our 52,000 retailers work. The Sun 50 campaign, and its reader fund, is celebrating ordinary people doing extraordinary things and that’s exactly what our retailers have done. From finding innovative ways to champion and sell The Sun brand to campaigning vigorously for local causes and looking out for those in need, they have all proved to be bastions of their communities. Thank you for all that you do.”