Stella and Allan Wickham from newsXpress at Eli Waters with their awards.
Stella and Allan Wickham from newsXpress at Eli Waters with their awards. Robyne Cuerel

Eli Waters newsagent is best of 180 nationally

THE Eli Waters newsXpress store has taken out top honours at the newsXpress conference, held recently at the Royal Pines resort on the Gold Coast.

Proud husband and wife owners Allan and Stella Wickham said that with dozens of other stores in the running, the awards came as an awesome surprise.

The duo was named the winners of the gift retailer category, but also took out the coveted newsXpress retailer of the year award.

"The latter award is the big prize and awarded to the store with the biggest growth in a wide range of categories," Mr Wickham said.

"To be the winner of the top award was a complete surprise to us as newsXpress currently have 180 stores nationwide, so there certainly was some very good opposition. I think that the award is testament to the growth of Hervey Bay and the new direction we have taken to cater for a wide range of customer needs."

Mr Wickham said the awards also recognised their team's hard work and focus on the overall business.

The newsagents sell everything from gift products and ink cartridges to the traditional cards and magazines.

The Wickhams have owned the store for nine years and previously managed hotels together.

"Newsagents are changing," Mr Wickham said.

"We've got more of a retail landscape now."

He said it was an exciting industry and one he was keen to recommend to others.

"I think a lot of businesses are in a good position here. Being part of a growing area is something to be positive about."