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Recognition . . . Celebrating Caroline Eve's haul of awards are Oamaru team member Gaynor Oughton (left) and manager Kay Sintmaartensdyk. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

An Oamaru retailer has collected three awards at a national conference.

Caroline Eve manager Kay Sintmaartensdyk travelled to Hamilton to a gathering of the clothing chain’s 40 store managers from across New Zealand.

At the end of the conference, awards decided by head office personnel were given out.

To her surprise and delight, Mrs Sintmaartensdyk was called up three times to collect awards for the Oamaru store. It was runner-up for increased sales percentage, winner of the chain’s Group 3 best day of sales, and runner-up for the overall top shop.

The winner of the latter was Tauranga’s Bethlehem store.

Mrs Sintmaartensdyk said it was great a small-town shop like Oamaru’s, serving a low population, was right up there with a shop in a heavily populated area with a large tourist trade boosting numbers even further.

She and the four part-time staff in Oamaru were thrilled with the awards, which recognise the trouble they take to look after their customers.

They are proud of being able to offer comfortable, relaxing conditions where people can take their time to browse and try on garments.

Mrs Sintmaartensdyk has been working in the shop for 20 years and Gaynor Oughton for 17 years.