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A NORTH Yorkshire retailer celebrated reaching the finals of a national competition by giving workers a gift – a pyjama day for each of them to take on their birthday.

Thanks to customer nominations Stokesley-based Millbry Hill is in the running to be named British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) Large Retailer of the Year, leading a field of more than 300 tack shops and feed merchants across the UK.

The pyjama days are the latest in a package of employee benefits offered by the company, part of the family-run Armstrong Richardson group which employs more than 250 people.

Serena Jones, retail director, said: “We’ve always done all we can to be a good employer and giving everyone an extra day’s holiday to be taken on their birthday is our way of showing appreciation for the team’s hard work.

“It’s part of our commitment to offering a quality service across all elements of our business – as an employer, as a retailer and as a member of the local communities in which we operate.

“We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted by BETA in the Large Retailer of the Year awards and what makes it even more special is that it’s due to customer nominations.”

Millbry Hill has stores in Stokesley, Whitby, Richmond and Whitehaven and sells a wide range of equestrian essentials, pet products, designer country clothing and country sport equipment.

The company also provides sponsorship to several accomplished riders as well as pony clubs, riding clubs, shows, point to points and charity events.

Being employed by Armstrong Richardson brings with it a whole series of perks including generous staff discounts, on-site kennels at the company’s head office and an annual extravaganza which sees all departments get together for a big celebration.

A large number of the team have worked for the company for many years, including delivery driver Dennis Tyerman who recently clocked up 50 years’ service and account manager Diane Taylor who celebrated 30 years’ service earlier this month.

BETA executive director Claire Williams said: “The vast number of nominations received for this award really reflects the way in which members of the public value excellence in retailing.

“Our finalists are some of the most successful in the business and we offer them our sincere congratulations and wish them the very best of luck!”

The BETA award winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Birmingham on January 22.

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