Tom Antonio of Whyalla’s Electrical Discounters store in South Australia is celebrating with his team after winning the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Outstanding Business of the Year Award last week.
It is the second time the award has been presented to Electrical Discounters, which also picked up Whyalla Business Icon hall of fame award at last Friday’s ceremony.
Speaking about the win, company director Tom Antonio said it meant everything to the store.
“It means we are ticking all the right boxes, not only with our supporting suppliers — there are too many to mention, but they know who they are — but most importantly we are doing all the right things for our customers. That means everything to me and to our staff.”
As for what set Electrical Discounters apart from other retailers in the region, Antonio said the store staff cared about their customers and always put them first.
“We offer personal contact. Customers love to deal with people they know and trust, and that can’t be bought through advertising. One has to earn that loyalty and respect, and that’s not easy — it’s taken us over 35 years.
“People don’t care how much you know, until you show how much you care — that means the world to them. At Electrical Discounters we all share the pain with our customers and their grief in the bad times, and in the good times, we celebrate with our customers. That’s the difference. Lately there are more sad times than good unfortunately.”
While the retailer has picked up the Business of the Year gong twice now, Antonio said they weren’t focused on trying to make back-to-back wins next year, but that day-to-day life in the store brought its own rewards.
“Really we don’t think about winning awards, we just think about keeping our customers happy —nothing is more rewarding than that. All the cakes, chocolates, cards, gifts of thanks and gratitude we receive from our customers tell us we are doing all the right things.”
In the mean time, Antonio is focused on future projects for his retail brand.
“We are expanding into furniture and building a complete homemaker centre in Whyalla, followed by Port Augusta, to enhance our offer to our customers,” he said.