The Asian Trader Awards, the most prized, keenly contested and best known awards in the entire independent retailing sphere, have once again been a success.
Featuring Chief Guest the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, over 900 guests attended the awards on Wednesday 19 November at London's Westminster Park Plaza Hotel.
This opulent venue provided the glamorous setting for the UK’s top high street entrepreneurs to be honoured by the grocery industry and for Jarnail and Sukhi Sangha of Family Shopper in Lochside, Ayrshire to be named Asian Trader of the Year, the most coveted title in the entire sector.
The winning retailers who stepped onto the stage to receive their awards were chosen not only for being innovative, progressive and successful, but also because they are highly inspirational role models.
As these master craftsmen in the art of retailing took to the podium, they were cheered by hundreds of members of the grocery industry, cabinet ministers and celebrities.
This was the climax to a night of banqueting, networking, entertainment and speeches that also included the all important Asian Trader Product Awards, voted by our readers to discover the year’s top manufacturers and suppliers.
Asian Trader would like to thank all the fantastic retailers who have made this competition so successful over the years and truly helped the whole sector to raise its standards.
We thank our sponsors for so generously backing the independent sector.
See below for all the retailer and product award winners.
Asian Trader of the Year 2014
Jarnail and Sukhi Sangha, Family Shopper, Lochside, Ayrshire
Our judges drove through a very run down council estate with low expectations and walked into one of the best retail shops they had seen for some time. The Booker Family Shopper concept is innovative, of today and quite outstanding in its delivery to consumers. The management of this store by the owners and the staff is exceptional.
Asian Trader Retailer Champion Award 2014
Navin Patel, Southern Cross newsagent, Brighton
Navin has worked hard to raise awareness of the issue of illicit tobacco across the south east of England, taking part in range of events and activities and acting as a focal point and voice for other retailers in the region. He has been at the forefront of raising concerns about Government proposals on plain packaging. He also holds the position of Southern District President in the NFRN.
Asian Trader Independent Retailer of the Year 2014
Amit Patel, Stratford PO, London
Amit and his brother Samir who have been in retail since 1986 and who own two other post offices took over the PO and shop in June 2012. The really special part of this store is the vast array of loose sweets in jars that are decanted from bulk by hand and the brothers have created their own brand –it’s like stepping back in time to an olde fashioned sweety shop in a very modern and well lit store.
Asian Trader Excellence in Merchandising Award 2014
Aman Cheema, Family Shopper, Barnsley
As a result of the success of this store already turning over £30,000, a Tesco Express 500 yards away is closing down. Aman's turnover is forecast to be in excess of £50,000 when the Tesco Express closes. Aman has a team of 14 staff each working 25 hours a week. They simply can’t keep the £1.00 aisle filled with stock!
Asian Trader Best Bakery Retailer of the Year 2014
Raj Chandarana, Tara’s News, High Wycombe
Entering this Premier shop the warmth towards the owners is tangible and the affection between the owners and their customers is obvious. Raj worked very closely with David Shepherd of Warburtons to completely revamp the bread and bakery fixture and provide small loaves for small families! This is a man who has dedicated his career to improving and evolving his store to meet the needs of the local community and has been rewarded with fantastic loyalty.
Asian Trader Responsible Retailer of the Year 2014
Bay Bashir, Belle Vue Convenience Store, Middlesbrough
Bay is a local ambassador to stop under-age drinking and along with the local council provides carrier bags that tell consumers not to buy alcohol on behalf of under-age drinkers.
All his staff are fully trained in the Challenge 25 ID scheme and the store also supports the local hospices, Buttermilk and Teeside and the British Heart Foundation.
Asian Trader Impulse Retailer Award 2014
Amardeep Sandhu, Go Local Extra, Chesterfield
“Rocky”, who has been in this store for eight years, has had two extensions and a recent major refurbishment. This is a true Community store in every way. The family are loved and the staff are on first name terms with every customer, going out of their way to provide friendly and enthusiastic service. A very well merchandised store in all aspects and simply a really great atmosphere.
Asian Trader Spirit of the Community Award 2014
Jules Duhra, Premier Store, Telford
Jules has recently invested £40,000 in a new car park and commemorative bench for a nine year old boy was tragically killed outside the shop in traffic accident. The shop is covered in reminders of the local charity work carried out by Jules; she runs half marathons and this year completed the London Marathon. All the money goes to local or national charities such as Severn Hospice, Breast Cancer, British Heart Foundation, Sponsor a Local Child.
Asian Trader Innovation Award 2014
Dee Sedani, One Stop, Matlock
Dee, a former computer programmer, recently decided to change his Matlock store to One Stop and has been delighted with the change. The standards are strictly applies by Dee, his staff and One Stop but perhaps the most innovative part of this store is that with Dee’s computer training his cash count, float preparation, fridge temperatures, lighting and soon his on-shelf pricing can be controlled via apps from anywhere in the world!
Asian Trader Wholesale Depot of the Year 2014
Booker Sheffield has undergone a complete transformation during the past 14 months with the branch moving across the road. Throughout all of this Manager Carl and the team delivered an average of 99% availability which is testament to his leadership and the dedication of the team to provide the best customer service. With 4000 retailers operating from this branch, Sheffield truly is a shining example of how to support the independent sector.
Best Grocery Brand of the Year
Kingsmill Great White
Launched in March, Kingsmill Great White was developed for those consumers who love white bread but for whom there is a real dilemma between what they want to do (enjoy white bread) and what popular culture tells them to do (eat less white bread). Allied Bakeries has invested £6.7 million in marketing activity in the first year including TV advertising, a shopper marketing campaign, sampling via a national media partnership and PR activity.
Best Snack Brand of the Year
Walkers exploded the emerging popped snacks segment with the launch of Walkers Pops, a new ‘air popped’ snack that is full on taste yet contains 50% less fat. Made using a special high pressure cooking method that ‘pops’ the potato chips without having to fry them, Walkers Pops will hit impulse shelves in three delicious flavours; Original, Melted Cheese & Crispy Bacon and Sour Cream & Onion.
Best Alcohol Brand of the Year
Smirnoff, from Diageo, continued to invest in its flavoured vodka range with the introduction of Smirnoff Gold, a blend of Smirnoff No.21 premium vodka with a hint of natural cinnamon flavouring, and garnished with real edible 23 carat gold leaf. The edible 23 carat gold leaf ‘suspended’ in every bottle gives the product a stunning premium look, creating strong stand-out on shelf.
Best Tobacco Brand of the Year
In June, JTI extended its iconic Benson and Hedges range with the launch of B&H Blue. Capitalising on the quality and prestige of Benson and Hedges, the latest addition to the range was launched into the value price segment. B&H Blue is available in King Size 19s and a Smooth Flavour King Size 19s at an RRP of £6.50 each.
Best Soft Drink Brand of the Year
Coca-Cola 250ml can
In July, Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) introduced a new slimline 250ml can format across Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero to drive sales of soft drinks in on-the-go environments. The pack was designed to bring convenience shoppers back into the category by offering greater affordability and increased choice. The launch was supported with a targeted marketing campaign featuring a new TV commercial, outdoor and online media, as well as a new augmented reality partnership with Blippar.
Best Confectionery Brand of the Year
Kinder Pink & Blue
Kinder Surprise, the kids confectionery line from Ferrero, launched limited edition Pink and Blue eggs. With two thirds of parents saying it’s a good idea to have separate ranges, the launch generated a sweet treat for retailers’ tills. Each colour features a different popular branded toy range including; Fashion Dolls, Sprinty, Disney Princesses, Marvel, Hot Wheels and Barbie, which 66% of parents say will allow them to choose the egg with the most relevant toy inside for their child.