Store’s digital renaissance comes up trumps at inaugural awards

Limit Book: Atkinsons manager David Cartwright (second from right) with Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware (third from right) and various local suppliers at the store’s recent #InspiredBySheffield day

Sheffield’s longest serving independent department store has been shortlisted for not one but three categories at the brand new Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards.

Atkinsons of Sheffield – which first opened in 1872 and was completely flattened in the blitz of 1940 – has been undergoing a much publicised renaissance in recent times as it utilises digital marketing to engage with younger audiences.

The store has been nominated for ‘independent retailer of the year’ and ‘large retailer of the year’ whilst David Cartwright, the store’s manager, has been nominated for the ‘outstanding contribution award’.

“High street retail is facing massive challenges in 2019 and remaining relevant to our customers, how they want to shop or what they want to experience means you need to employ cutting edge marketing techniques to stay ahead of the game”, said David.

“Being nominated for these awards is a true honour and a vindication of our efforts in recent times.”


David Cartwright took on the senior role at Atkinsons three years ago and has been helping oversee a major transformation of both the store and its marketing alongside digital marketing manager Steven White.

He originally worked for Atkinsons in the early 1980s before advancing his retail management career via Sheffield’s own Ponsfords and other outlets.

The awards ceremony is set to take place in November.

John Atkinson opened his first shop on the Moor (then known as South Street) in 1872. The store has survived two world wars, numerous recessions and is now the city centre’s only independent department store.

Atkinsons is currently celebrating its 147th birthday.

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