Joanna and Franck on song with Celine!

Celine Dion

Milnathort husband-and-wife retailing team Joanna and Franck Casonato had the hottest tickets in town last month as they saw global superstar Celine Dion from the comfort of the News Scotland VIP box at the Hydro – proof once more that the SLR Rewards are the most rewarding in the industry!

The Giacopazzi business in Milnathort is one of the most inspirational success stories in independent retailing in Scotland in recent years. Run by Joanna and Franck Casonato, the Nisa business has gone from strength to strength and almost exactly a year ago saw the opening of the couple’s second outstanding store in nearby Kinross.

But it was the original Milanthort business that came up trumps in the Newstrade category at this year’s SLR Rewards for what the judges simply called “an exceptional commitment to the category and a breadth of vision that should act as an inspiration to other retailers across Scotland”.

News can be a challenging category to manage but remains absolutely fundamental to the overall success of most local retailing outlets in Scotland, a fact not lost on Joanna and Franck who have long operated a very sizeable Home New Delivery service for the local community.

“News has long been an important category for the business,” explains Joanna, “but with the way the retail marketplace has evolved, we’ve been trying hard to ensure that we’re working smarter, not harder, to manage it efficiently.”

That commitment saw the business invest in a tailored news management software system that takes much of the time-consuming admin work out of managing the category while bringing in a lot of extra features to enhance the service the store offers to its many news customers.

“It’s just fantastic to see a store really understanding the value of the newstrade to its business and investing in ways to improve the service it offers to its customers,” says Scott McCulloch, Business Development Manager at News Scotland. “The software system we saw in action is a great example of how to manage news really efficiently and well, and it’s always great to see a business with a solid home news delivery operation. It was also very clear that in-store routines are fantastic because the main fixture looked immaculate and the staff were very knowledgeable.”

For their efforts Joanna and Franck earned a night out in News Scotland’s plush VIP box at the Hydro to see global singing sensation Celine Dion. Joanna comments: “I just wanted to write to say a huge thank you to News Scotland and SLR for the fantastic Celine Dion tickets. A wonderful night was had by all. Even the supporting act was amazing but Celine Dion really was something special live in concert. The evening was just fantastic and the hospitality was first class.”