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    Tranent Booker store owner bags Independent Retailer of the Year Award

    From left: Shailesh Solanki, Anila Ali, Zulfiqar Ali, Colm Johnson from Booker, Kalpesh Solanki, Nitin Ganatra

    Retailer Anila Ali of Ali’s Convenience Store (Premier) in Tranent has won Independent Retailer of the Year Award  at 34th Asian Trader Awards held on Tuesday (7).

    This year, the award event was held at Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London. The compere for the evening was Nitin Ganatra, better known as Masood on EastEnders. The awards were presented by Kalpesh and Shailesh Ramniklal Solanki, Group Managing Editor and Executive Editors at Asian Trader.

    Food minister Mark Spencer MP was the chief guest of the event. The awards night saw some of the most innovative and successful retailers from the UK’s independent grocery sector. Judges noted that the entries for the awards have surpassed all expectations, making this year’s competition the fiercest and most competitive one to date.

    Armed with a degree in accountancy Ali took the strategic decision to refit her store as a specialised convenience outlet rather than as a would-be supermarket, competing where her real strengths lay.

    While presenting the award, Ali was described as engaging, bright, articulate and innovative. Her clear and independent thinking has made a huge difference to her store – since the refit, a Refresh bar with Ice Blast and Slush Machines, a food-to-go cabinet and a vastly expanded chilled section from 70 to 320 lines.

    This award was presented by Colm Johnson, Managing Director- Retail at Booker Group. The other two finalists in this category were Shajaz Ali from Jaz’s Premier at Falkirk, Scotland and Paula Lafferty and Michael Atherden from Premier Ashworth Lane, Bolton.

    Speaking at the event, assistant publisher of Asian Trader Shefali Solanki said, “The Asian Trader Awards is considered to be the most significant and important way of recognising and encouraging excellence in the convenience sector and recognising wholesalers and suppliers who play an incredible role in the supply chain to help feed the country.

    “Since the inception of the awards, we have recognised some amazing retailers and wholesalers, with the help of our esteemed judges. Tonight is no different with the entries being some of the best we have ever seen.

    “The winners tonight have innovated, offered home deliveries, supported their local communities, fund raised for local charities and offered free food and supplies to school children. These retailers have understood the changing needs of their customers and have adapted their stores to suit their needs.”

    Tranent Booker store owner bags Independent Retailer of the Year Award

    Below is the complete list of winners of Asian Trader Awards 2023:

    Ramniklal Solanki Award for Excellence in Convenience and Wholesale: Jason Stocker, Wholesaler and Convenience Controller for Nestlé UK

    Asian Trader of the Year 2023 In Association with JTI: Kalpesh (Peter) Patel, Zola Group Limited, Barming, Kent

    Asian Trader Responsible Retailer of the Year Supported by JTI: Dave Hiscutt, Bassetts Londis, Weymouth

    Asian Trader Wholesale Depot of the Year: AG Parfetts and Sons, Redfern Road, Tyseley, Birmingham

    Asian Trader Convenience Chain of the Year Supported by Dr Beckmann: Arul Palaniappan – Premier, Grantown-On-Spey

    Asian Trader Vape Convenience Retailer of the Year Supported by BAT: Nikesh Patel – S&B Supermarket LLP T/A Costcutter, Northampton

    Asian Trader Bakery Retailer of the Year Supported by Warburtons: Fabio Finocchiaro – Rootes Grocery Store (Costcutter) University of Warwick

    Asian Trader Next Gen Award Supported by One Stop:  Kersheaup Vagadia – Kearsley Mount Precinct, Bolton

    Asian Trader Independent Retailer of the Year Supported by Booker: Anila Ali – Ali’s Convenience Store, Premier, Tranent

    Asian Trader Food to Go Retailer of the Year Supported by KP Snacks: Shaan Chaudry – Triple ‘a’ Foodhall, Nuneaton

    Asian Trader Spirit of the Community Award Supported by Mondelēz International: Imran Ali – Day-Today, Bourtreehill Supermarket, Irvine, Ayrshire

    Symbol Retailer of the Year Supported by Bestway: David Wyatt – Crawley Down Group Ltd, Costcutter/Bargain Booze, Crawley

    Off Licence of the Year Supported by Molson Coors: Ehamparam Karunanithy – Premier Talbot Store, Poole

    Asian Trader Impulse Retailer of the Year Supported by Pladis- Sheetal Sisodiya – Spar Lindford, Bordon

    Local Hero Award Supported by Walkers- Surinder Kaur Dhadwal – One Stop, Oldbury, Birmingham

    Asian Trader Businesswoman of the Year Supported by PML- Kay Patel – Witley Village Store, Witley, Surrey

    Convenience Product Awards winners 2023

    Snack brand of the year: McCoy’s Epic Eats KP Snacks

    Soft Drinks Brand of the Year: Monster Energy Lewis Hamilton Zero Sugar Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

    Confectionery Brand of the Year: Galaxy Smooth Mint Mars Wrigley

    Vape and Next Generation Brand of the Year: Blu Bar Imperial Tobacco

    Lager, Beer and Cider Brand of the Year: Madri Excepcional Molson Coors

    Asian Trader Grocery Brand of the Year: McVitie’s Gold Billions Wafer – Pladis

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