Awards Categories and Sponsors

Awards Categories and Sponsors

Entering the Neighbourhood Retailer Awards has never been easier, and with 21 categories to enter there are opportunities for every kind of retailer.

We are delighted to announce that 2022’s sponsor is Camelot.

Camelot

 

 


Neighbourhood Retailer Awards 2022

The Judging Process

The judging will begin in early July when all entries will be scrutinised by a judging panel of retail experts lead by Spotcheck NI who will examine each entry in detail and decide who will go through to the next stage.

Stores who reach the second stage of the process will be visited by mystery shopper during July and August.


Award Criteria


Retailer of the Year Award

Sponsored by:

Finalists in the Retailer of the Year Award will be asked to provide information on the following:

  • Financial performance
  • Operational excellence – standards and waste management
  • Customer service and innovative services.
  • Improvements in the last 12 months
  • Innovation and business development – marketing and promotions

They will be invited to present their stores and answer questions from a panel of retail experts before the judges decide on the winner.


 CTN of the Year

Sponsored by:

The category is specifically for Confectionary, tobacco and newsagent stores and not general convenience stores. The judges will be looking for a CTN, which clearly meets the needs of its customers and stocks an extensive variety of CTN products. The specific criteria will include the following: –

  • Product range, available services and facilities, access, and parking.
  • Merchandising and display including layout, signage, and presentation.
  • Customer service including staff availability, efficiency, specialist product knowledge and level of staff engagement.

Neighbourhood Store of the Year

Each store entered will be required to identify the size category into which it fits. The process will judge how well the product range and services reflect the size of the store.

 Judges will consider all aspects of the retail offering which will include;

  • Convenience in terms of opening hours, product range, available services and facilities, access, and parking.
  • Merchandising and display including layout, signage, and presentation.
  • Customer service including staff availability, efficiency, product knowledge level of staff engagement.
  • Use of technology to enhance the customer experience

Stores will gain higher scores by providing value added services which customers may not expect to find. These categories will be judged initially photographs/ video submission.


Neighbourhood Store of the Year

Sponsored by:

Category 1 – Convenience Store up to 1950sq ft.

This category is open to all convenience store with a selling area of less than 1950sq ft.


Neighbourhood Store of the Year

Category 2 – Convenience store 1951-3950sq ft.

This category is open to all convenience stores with a selling area of between 1951sq ft and 3950sq ft.


Neighbourhood Store of the Year

Category 3 – Convenience store 3951sq ft – 7000sq ft.

 This category is open to all convenience stores with a selling area of between 3951sq ft and 7000sq ft.


Neighbourhood Store of the Year

Category 4 – Convenience store over 7001sq ft.

This category is open to all convenience stores with a selling area of over 7000sq ft.


Fresh Food Store of the Year

This award is designed to recognise the best in fresh food retailing. The winner of this award will be   thriving fresh food store offering some or all of the following – fruit and veg, meat, fish and poultry, dairy, and baked goods. Judges will be looking for quality, seasonality, use of local produce and outstanding retail display. Entrants must be able to show a clear commitment to excellence in fresh food provision across all areas of the store.


Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year

Sponsored by:

This award is open to all stores who can demonstrate their use of a broad range of technology to deliver an outstanding customer experience. This could be through online grocery retailing, social media, and digital marketing or in store applications such as self-checkout, and media screens.

Entrants will be asked to complete a written submission detailing all aspects of the campaign in including:

  • Digital Marketing Strategy and choice of platform
  • Design and delivery mechanisms
  • Results and impact on the business.

Butcher of the Year

This category is open to all independent butcher shops or in store butchers that can demonstrate expertise in their craft. Judges will be looking for an innovative and exciting range of products coupled with expert product knowledge and outstanding customer care. Stores will be judged on the merchandising and presentation, counter services and pre-pack offering, quality of products and value for money. Customer service, hygiene standards and specialist product knowledge will be taken into consideration when judging this award.


Off-Licence of the Year

This award is open to all off licensed premises. The judges will be looking for an off licence that clearly meets the needs of its customers and stocks an extensive variety of wines, beers, spirits, and related products. Judges will be looking for exceptional customer service, staff with extensive product knowledge, and outstanding in store merchandising and display.


Community Store of the Year

This award is designed to recognise stores who have engaged with and supported the local community, providing a wide range of services and products to meet the need of their customers. One store from each county and two stores from Belfast will be chosen by the editorial team at Penton Publications to compete in this category. Stores will be judged by public vote and customers will be able to vote either in store or by social media. The winner of the award will be the store with the most votes.


Forecourt of the Year

Each forecourt with adjoining convenience store entered will be required to clearly identify the size category into which it fits. Judges of this category will assess the levels of forecourt standards as appropriate to the size of the site and store.

This will include:

  • A clean and attractive forecourt area with convenient and well-maintained services.
  • An inviting and well stocked convenience store which provides an exceptional shopping experience.

 The process will judge how well the product range and services reflect the size of the store and forecourt and entrants will gain higher scores by providing value added services which enhance the customer experience on the forecourt and in the store.


Forecourt of the Year

Sponsored by:

Air-Serv

Category 1 – Forecourt with C Store up to 1750sq ft

 This category is open to any forecourt with a convenience store which is less than 1750sq ft in selling floor area.


Forecourt of the Year

Sponsored by:

Category 2 – Forecourt with C Store over 1751sq ft.

This category is open to any forecourt with a convenience store which is larger than 1750 sq. ft. in selling floor area.


 Store Manager of the Year

This award is open to all owners or managers of forecourt and convenience store sites who have a minimum of 2 years at store management level at 30th June 2022. Candidates for this award can be nominated or self-nominate. Candidates will be asked to give evidence of measurable business success, their ability to manage and develop staff, their focus on customer service and their innovative and successful approach to improving business performance in all areas.

All entrants will be asked to complete a written submission which will be judged by a panel of industry experts. Short listed candidates will be invited to interview where they will be asked to demonstrate:

  • How they have contributed to business success
  • How they manage staff successfully
  • How they contain costs and maximise profit
  • How they focus on customers.

Best Customer Service

Sponsored by:

This award is open to all stores, who can demonstrate how they consistently rise successfully to this challenge by providing their customers with a first-class retail experience

The winner will be able to demonstrate their individuality and innovation and a real understanding of their customer base in all aspects of their offering.

Mystery shoppers will visit to experience your store as your customers do. They will report on all aspects of the customer journey:

The mystery shopper will pay particular attention to the initial impact of the store – window displays, special offers, how the staff interact with customers, the range of services provided and how the store exceeds customer expectations.


Bakery of the Year

Sponsored by:

This category is open to all independent bakeries or in store bakeries that provide a range of products that keep their customers coming back.

Judges will be looking for both innovative and traditional products to suit customer demand. Stores will be judged on the merchandising and presentation, counter services and pre-pack offering, quality, freshness, and value for money. Customer service, hygiene standards and specialist product knowledge will be taken into consideration when judging this award.


Food to Go Store of the Year

The judges will be looking for an in-store deli or stand-alone deli that clearly meets and exceeds the requirements of its customers. They will be looking for innovative choices and visual impact in terms of the hot and cold food offering as well as quality of the food and value for money. Customer service, hygiene standards and specialist product knowledge will be taken into consideration when judging this award.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by:

Nisa logo

The Lifetime Achievement Award is decided by the Neighbourhood Retailer editorial board. While the board may nominate an individual based on their perceived contribution to the industry, nominations and self-nominations are welcome.


New Product Launch of the Year

This award is open to any business that has introduced a new product to the retail, foodservice, or forecourt markets in an innovative way to reach their marketplace effectively and successfully. Entrants should give evidence of the content, the types of different media used, the results achieved and how these have increased awareness, attracted new customers, and increased sales. This award will be judged by written submission.