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We will be hosting the 26th Asian Trader Awards on the 19th November at the Westminster Park Plaza hotel in London. The Asian Trader Awards are always the highlight of the year for the independent retailing community where everyone comes together to celebrate and honour the best of what our industry has to offer.

Last year's Asian Trader awards were amazing and the feedback from all who attended was just incredible. We had some fantastic winners on the night who really set the benchmark for this year's finalists.

The dedication, professionalism and hard work that independent retailers put in to making their business work never fails to impress me. Last year has been tough economically for retailers but they have benefitted from recent consumer shopping trends of the local "top up" shop rather than the "supermarket run", a point not missed by the multiples who now want a piece of the convenience and impulse business on the high street. My advice to independent retailers is to continue to work hard, get to know your customers, understand their needs, work with suppliers and wholesalers and we will continue to help and support you through Asian Trader magazine.

Remember local knowledge and the community support has always been vital and will help you going forward with your business.

The standard of entries to the Asian Trader Awards has always been very high and there are some excellent retailers out there who I would encourage to enter this year. On the evening not only do we get the chance to acknowledge and celebrate the best independent retailers and suppliers, but it is a fantastic opportunity to meet up with old friends and colleagues, and to network with very senior supplier, wholesaler and retailer contacts.

I would like to wish good luck to all the Asian Trader award entries for 2014 and of course welcoming you all on the night.

Ramniklal Solanki(CBE), Editor in Chief

Daksha Ganatra
Asian Trader Awards
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7654 7743
Mobile: 07957 638531
Email: daksha.ganatra@amg.biz