Mandeep Singh, who runs the Singh’s Premier store in Shirecliffe, Sheffield, has bagged the top prize at the 2021 Asian Trader Awards, wining the Asian Trader of the Year accolade.
The 33rd edition of the awards, which celebrates excellence in the UK’s convenience stores, was held on Tuesday 30 November at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London hosted by noted impressionist Rory Bremner.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has graced the event as chief guest, with leading politicians and captains of industry joining in to herald independent retailers, convenience store and symbol operators, shopkeepers, off-license owners and newsagents from across the UK.
Delivering his keynote speech, Kwarteng said: “I have to say to the companies and business leaders represented here tonight that you have shown a spirit of sacrifice, and huge amounts of real leadership in your communities. And that’s why I wouldn’t miss this event for the world.
“It was retailers, day in day out, who were bearing the brunt of the risk, who were working, in many cases 20 hours a day, to keep people going and to make sure that essential goods and services were provided. And my only word is thank you. You probably don’t hear that too often from government ministers.
“But from the bottom of my heart that is the most sincere, heartfelt message, because it’s been a terrible time, for so many people in lots of different communities, and without your support, without your unstinting effort, things would have been a lot worse. So thank you very much on behalf of everybody in this country.”
The Asian Trader Award, the most coveted award in the independent retail sector, honours a retailer who has gone the extra mile and done a huge amount over the years to raise standards and transform the fortunes of the sector.
As the pandemic dramatically changed the way shoppers use convenience stores, Mandeep quickly grasped the scale of the opportunity and put plans in place to capitalise on this trend with a full-scale refit and extension of the store.
The store now offers a modern product and service range that gives as many shoppers as many reasons as possible to choose Singh’s first time every time. A Refresh section with several slush machines, an outstanding walk-in beer cave, a vaping zone and the new food to go area, all have created a buzzing atmosphere in the shop, which now also boasts increased chilled & fresh and frozen space and a hugely enhanced home delivery service.
The Judging Panel said: “Modern, vibrant, clean, bright, well merchandised with great Free From and American ranges – and an outstanding Beer Cave.”
The full list of the winners:
- Ram Solanki Lifetime Achievement Award: Sir David Amess MP (posthumous)
- Wholesale Depot of the Year Award: Time Cash & Carry Rainham
- Responsible Retailer of the Year supported by JTI: Lewis Prager, Best One Preens, Wakefield West Yorkshire and Jonathan James, James Convenience Retail Ltd, Derby
- Convenience Chain of the Year Award supported by Dr Beckmann: Pete (Kalpesh) Patel, Zola Ltd (Costcutter) Southborough
- Local Hero Award supported by Walkers Sensations: Asif Akhtar, Premier Smeaton Stores, Kirkcaldy
- Bakery Retailer of the Year Award supported by Warburtons: Mike Humphreys, Premier Kenninghall Stores and Post Office Norwich
- Independent Retailer of the Year Award supported by Booker: Pete Saleem, Premier Broadway Circle, Blythe, Northumberland
- Food To Go Retailer of the Year Award: Shamly Sud, Premier Racetrack, Glasgow
- Tobacco Retailer of the Year Award supported by Imperial Tobacco: Amit Puntambekar, Ash’s Store, Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire
- Impulse Retailer of the Year Award supported by State Bank of India: Mos Patel Family Shopper Ashton Under Lyne (Both Shops)
- Symbol Convenience Retailer of the Year Award supported by Bestway: Kopi Kalanathan, Costcutter, Doncaster
- Next Gen Award supported by pladis: Nishi Patel, Londis Bexley Park, Dartford
- Vape Convenience Retailer of the Year Award supported by British American Tobacco: Aman Uppal, One Stop Mount Nod, Coventry
- Spirit of the Community Award supported by Mondelez: Julie Kaur, Premier Jules Convenience Store, Telford
- Asian Trader of the Year:Mandeep Singh, Premier Singh’s Shirecliffe, Sheffield
- Convenience Snacks Brand of the Year: McCoy’s Fire Pit, KP Snacks
- Convenience Soft Drink Brand of the Year: Monster Nitro, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
- Convenience Confectionery Brand of the Year: Cadbury Twirl Orange by Mondelēz International
- Convenience Vape & Next Gen Product of the Year: Ploom by JTI