WALKING into an electrical store and fiddling with the remotes would usually get a customer thrown straight back out of the door.

But encouraging people to get their hands on TVs is part of the customer service charm that sets Simply Electricals apart and helped the firm win the Retailer of the Year award.

Group managing director Paul Swift and Michael Gilmore, sales and marketing director, praised a ‘great event’.

Mr Swift said: “This is the first time we’ve entered and the recognition proves that service still counts for local people. It is a great lift in hard times.

“The diversity that the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards represents is quite phenomenal. There are all shapes and sizes of businesses and it is encouragement for everybody.”

Mr Gilmore said: “This just means everything for our staff because they are key to us moving forward and they’re just as important as we are in the business. Without them we wouldn’t have the company.

“The awards are important, especially during times when the economy is not fantastic. These mean a hell of a lot to people.”

The electrical goods retailer was founded online in 1999 and now has stores in Rawtenstall, Accrington and Bolton, employing 12 staff and posting a turnover of £3.7million.

Its aim is to take the mystique out of technology by beating the ‘poor service’ offered by high street chains.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader, Labour Coun Kate Hollern, presented the Retailer of the Year award, which was sponsored by the local authority.

Coun Hollern said: “It is really important in these difficult times the council must do everything possible to help support the small and medium enterprises.

“This is where the future is and we need to make sure that we encourage businesses to grow. The economic growth of Blackburn with Darwen is totally dependent on these enterprises.”