Elizabeths Embroidery and Print on Teesside is celebrating winning an award after expanding into a second site with retail space.

Managing director Lisa Halligan and shop manager Allison Hamilton-Wicks collected the trophy for scoring 100% in the mystery shopping programme at Wellington Square shopping centre in Stockton-on-Tees.

It was presented at the Wellington Square Retailer Awards ceremony this month, attended by more than 100 guests at ARC Stockton Arts Centre.

Elizabeths, founded by Lisa’s parents, Elizabeth and Paul Halligan, in 1990, opened its first shop in Wellington Square in 2019 – not long before the pandemic lockdowns – and moved into its current, larger space in 2021.

It is in addition to its premises in Richardson Road, a kilometre south of Stockton-on-Tees town centre, which continues to be its main production site, offering garment decorating through embroidery and transfer printing including direct-to-film (DTF).

Lisa said: “We pride ourselves on our quality and customer service and customer experience so this award represents everything that we strive for. It highlights that all of our team are practising what we preach, and we’re really proud.”

The shop specialises in schoolwear, which represents about 80% of the company’s business, but Elizabeths also offers garment decorating for workwear, clubs and societies.

“Opening in the town centre allowed us to display more product and is better than customers coming to Richardson Road which is a residential area,” Lisa adds. “It has also opened up our manufacturing site so that we can focus more on workwear as well.

“Having this award to say what we’re doing is working and looking good is like the icing on the cake with a cherry on top.”

The mystery shopper awards were based on scores for criteria such as the knowledgeability, attentiveness and friendliness of staff and the effectiveness of visual merchandising.

The overall awards were voted on by Wellington Square management, tenants and shoppers. Winners included larger retailers such as River Island, Warren James and Specsavers as well as independents such as Bluecorn Bakery.

Centre manager Matt Boxall said: “This was the first Wellington Square Retailer Awards and we were delighted to celebrate our amazing businesses and their teams. The voting and mystery shops were extremely close across all categories this year which is testament to the high quality of retailers in the centre.”