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    Exclusive: Tenby Post Office c-store winning hearts with selfless service

    Fiona and Vince Malone

    Any organisation is a reflection of its employees. The same philosophy holds true for retail and convenience stores too, as shown by Tenby Stores & Post Office, a local convenience store in the lap of Wales where customers are served everything (from snacks to postage stamps to banking needs) with warm smiles and positive vibes.

    In the bustling seaside town of Pembrokeshire, Tenby Stores & Post Office radiates warmth, reliability, trust and innovation, thus embodying a beacon of excellent service. Run by the retailer couple Vince Malone and Fiona Malone, this store in Pembrokeshire stands apart not only in the local community but also renowned in UK’s retail world and has been honored with multiple awards to recognise and celebrate their contribution towards the community.

    Speaking to Asian Trader, Fiona attributed the success of her store to its staff, calling them the “store’s USP” (unique selling point).

    She said, “We employ people for their personality who go an extra mile to offer that little bit extra service to our customers.

    “It’s easy to train someone on how to do a post office transaction or how to do a transaction in the shop. We mainly look for and employ people who have a great sense of empathy. We hire people who can work well and can get on with most people.”

    Fiona makes sure that its store’s staff remains attuned to going a step beyond servicing rather than just “selling stuff”.

    Exclusive: Tenby Post Office c-store winning hearts with selfless service

    “We understand that without customers, we don’t have any business. That doesn’t always mean that the customer is right, but we need to make sure we try and go over and above you know to make sure that they want to come back here.”

    At Tenby Stores & Post Office, the day starts early with the morning paper round which reaches more than 200 customers. The store is located in a town of 5,000 residents. Being a seaside town, its population spikes in summers, usually expanding to more than 60,000 due to an influx of tourists.

    Apart from offering exceptionally empathetic and warm service, Tenby Stores & Post Office is also playing a huge role in circulating cash in the community.

    Fiona told Asian Trader, “We are losing our last bank, which is HSBC that’s going on Aug 6 this year. To cater to needs, we have pushed, and we’ve got an enhanced banking post office status.

    “So now, we have one of the bank accounting machines in our post office to manage customer deposits as we service quite a few businesses from the community as well. We not only offer them banking facilities but also offer them change facilities as well.”

    “We are reaching out to local businesses, and we talk to local people to remind them that they can still do the usual banking with us.”

    Vince and Fiona moved to Pembrokeshire in 2014 and took over the local post office. They expanded the premises, thus adding a thriving and a vibrant section of the convenience store.

    Before entering into retail, Malone was an HR executive in Sainsbury’s but now is seemingly in love with her what she does.

    “In retailing, every day is interesting because every day is slightly different, so that’s why I like it. Because of my experience in HR while working at lots of different organisations, I had the expertise in dealing with lots of people. Vince was also in Sainsbury’s so he is also very passionate about retail,” she added.

    The store gets delivery from wholesale giant Booker, though it also keeps lots of local products like Welsh whiskey, Welsh rum and local cakes.

    She said, “We always make sure that we test and quality-check the products before we put them on our shelves. Our customers do appreciate that. Also when we get the tourists in the summer, they quite like to try something local and authentic.”

    The store is heavily involved with its local community as well. During Covid times, Tenby Post Office and Store was operational “seven days a week” during which it did lots of home deliveries without any extra charges, sometimes even helping the elderly people in keeping away stuff in refrigerators and kitchen cabinets.

    Exclusive: Tenby Post Office c-store winning hearts with selfless service

    Being an employee-centric store, Fiona remains concerned about the safety and wellbeing of her staff, particularly amid current times when shoplifting and retail staff abuse continue to run high.

    To counter this, she has invested in an AI technology to monitor suspicious activity on the shop floor which automatically recognises suspicious gestures and alerts the store staff through headsets.

    The couple was relieved that the government was considering making assaulting a shop worker a special offense.

    “My main concern is that our members of staff are protected because we are also a post office. We do have panic alarms. The headsets we have given to staff can also record conversation with the customer so if a member of staff has an abusive customer, they can actually press the button and record the conversation,” she said.

    Looking forward, the store is now set expand its food-to-go section, particularly hot fresh food.

    She said, “We are looking at expanding our range in terms of our own fresh sandwiches and hot food. We are also looking to further expand our home deliveries.”

    From their commitment to exceptional service to their proactive stance against challenges, it is evident how Vince and Fiona have woven a tapestry of trust and camaraderie that transcends from the aisles of their store into the community.

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