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31st May 2017

The annual Pro-retail Awards, which were announced during a glamourous Gala Night Dinner on Tuesday (16th) at the International Centre in Telford, recognise excellence and industry-leading practice among UK retailers and suppliers.

Hosted by celebrated comedian Jason Manford, the awards were announced in two sections, honouring retailers and suppliers.

The Retailer Awards recognised outstanding independent CTN, forecourt and convenience store retailers.

These awards are designed to highlight individuals who run exemplary retail stores and enrich the lives of their local communities, up and down the country. All of the winners of the Retailer Awards received a thousand pounds’ worth of free stock as recognition of their efforts to go that extra mile for their business.

Retailer Award winners:

  • CTN of the year was awarded to KP Stationers. Following a significant investment a few years ago, this store has gone from strength to strength. The team work hard to ensure they are always on top of their game, holding regular category quizzes amongst the staff. Sales and profit have increased in the store since installing their Epos system and the team are always looking for new ways to innovate, updating their range earlier in the year to start selling board games and toys after a surge in a small trial.  The store is proud to support the local community, in line with its strapline: “At the heart of Wallingford since 1985.” This award was sponsored by Philip Morris LTD.
  • Convenience Store of the Year was awarded to The Corner Stores. Scouring the trade press and Palmer and Harvey collateral, the team behind this store always ensure they keep on top of market trends and are hunting for ways to improve their store. Recently, to differentiate themselves from the local competition, the team installed a soft serve ice cream machine, which has been a huge hit with their customers. With sales increasing by a staggering 103% over the last year, this previous P&H Community of the Year winner continues to support the local under 16s football side to help give something back to the community it serves. This award is sponsored by Tchibo.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Forecourt of the Year was awarded to Rontec Chimes Service Station. In 2015, this site underwent a complete refurbishment, which incorporated a brand new food-to-go area, as well as a Subway. During the refurbishment, the team also fitted new internal fixtures and developed a new layout for the store to enhance merchandising levels. To ensure the whole team deliver the highest possible levels of customer service at all times, all store staff have to complete customer service modules, as well as having an extremely experienced and dedicated Training Team to help them along the way. All this effort has certainly paid off, with fuel sales up 3 percent and store sales up 12 percent, making this store is a deserved winner. This award was sponsored by Sales Out.
  • Community Retailer of the Year was awarded to Kirdford Village Stores. This winning store is a community-owned initiative that has been trading for 7 years, with sales going from strength to strength. People employed from the local area range from the ages of 13 to 65, as this retailer believes in finding roles for all age groups. Children employed by the store also take an active role in their communities whilst working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards. The store regularly hosts planting activity days at a nearby orchard. The local community can come together to plant apple trees, so apples can eventually be sold in the shop, involving its customers and employees alike in the journey of the products and championing local produce. Also a sponsor of the local cricket team, this very worthy winner showcased an unparalleled connection to its local community.  This award was sponsored by Moy Park.

Martyn Ward, Managing Director of Palmer and Harvey, said: “I am delighted to recognise these four significant contributions made to the industry by our very worthy winners. They have shown determination, innovation and outstanding initiative in an increasingly competitive industry, as well as being leading examples of how stores can work to enrich their local community.”

Following the retailers, a number of valued P&H suppliers were also recognised with Pro-retail Awards, taking into consideration elements such as service level, business support, communications activity and category management.

Supplier Awards winners:

  • Impulse Supplier of the Year was awarded to Ferrero UK Ltd. Palmer and Harvey have had incredible support this year from Ferrero. This supplier has dramatically increased its investment to support various P&H initiatives. With its extensive experience and technology resource, the company is currently working with the Category and Space Planning Teams to focus on growing the Boxed Chocolate Category in P&H’s valued independent retailer network.  
  • Grocery & Non Food Supplier of the Year was awarded to Cereal Partners UK. Collaboration and engagement with all points of P&H has meant that Cereal Partners UK has had a record year, with a staggering growth of 161%. This supplier continues to place a strong emphasis on supporting independent retailers, and its plans for 2017 certainly demonstrate that this is set to continue. Cereal Partners UK has remained highly engaged throughout the year and continues to support P&H with strong account management, competitive promotions and investment to support the marketing initiatives on offer.
  • Alcohol Supplier of the Year was awarded to InBev UK Ltd. Palmer and Harvey has a very close working relationship with this supplier. Our strong collaborative partnerships with old and new account managers have encouraged growth for InBev UK and P&H alike. This growth was achieved through strong engagement between both businesses. Collaborative engagement with P&H initiatives and fantastic service levels meant this supplier was top of the judges’ list. 
  • Chilled, Fresh & Frozen Supplier of the Year was awarded to Birds Eye. Winning for the second year in a row, this recognition of Birdseye follows an extremely collaborative year, and P&H continues to see strong growth with this supplier. Birds Eye is very pro-active in its account management and is extremely supportive of P&H as a whole, supporting all key initiatives. P&H continues to work together with Birds Eye to drive growth in the independents through a strong promotional and marketing plan, focussing on market and consumer trends. 
  • Plus Extra Supplier of the Year was awarded to Rollover Ltd. Another second-time winner, Rollover has had another year of driving really impressive growth. Rollover’s continued support of Palmer and Harvey and consistently collaborative approach to working has enabled us to really drive sales forward. Simply, this supplier offers our customers a 'best-in-class' Food-to-Go solution, along with a fantastic profit on return. 
  • Product of the Year was awarded to McVities Chocolate Digestive Nibbles. This prestigious award is chosen on the basis of the quality of a product's launch and its ensuing commercial impact. Launched in 2016, this latest development from McVities is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the trends being seen around sharing occasions. Since the launch, the manufacturer has continued to innovate into different flavour profiles and is sure to go from strength to strength.
  • Service Level Excellence Award was awarded to Imperial Tobacco. Imperial Tobacco has approached the upcoming EUTPDII changes with admiral adaptability, reliability and resilience. Its inbound service level has been impressive, and Imperial Tobacco has communicated effectively throughout the transition and has been very quick to respond and rectify when issues have been raised.
  • Finally, Overall Supplier of the Year was awarded to Ferrero UK Ltd. Ferrero has worked closely with P&H to build a really a great collaborative relationship. This has been acknowledged by both the Supply Chain and the Category Team. By working with P&H to overcome challenging supply levels last year, Ferrero has gone from strength to strength reporting double-digit service level improvements over the last 12 months. The supplier also supports the majority of P&H’s Local Initiatives and is always happy to get involved with any new opportunities to develop.

Martyn Ward, Managing Director of Palmer and Harvey, said: “The Pro-retail Supplier Awards commend the achievements of the UK’s best suppliers and how they have supported their products in the independent channel. Choosing the winners was a hard job for the judges. We are extremely pleased to recognise the efforts and hard work of all our suppliers. The category winners were chosen using a rigorous selection process, which included an assessment of availability, sales support, business planning, and positive engagement with the P&H commercial team.”