Entries are now open for the 2019 Convenience Retail Awards, the premier award scheme dedicated to retailers in the UK’s convenience sector.

Awards will be made to the best all-round stores in the independent, multiple/franchise, large and small convenience store categories, as well as a number of special awards to stores that excel in key categories and disciplines within the sector.

The awards presentation evening will take place at the Royal Lancaster, London, on Thursday March 14.

This year’s awards evening will be further enhanced by the announcement of the Sales Assistant of the Year winner, with the four finalists also invited to the event.

To enter CRA 2019, and for a full list of award categories, visit the official website at www.cr-awards.co.uk. The closing date for entries is 12 November.

Last year’s headline act turned out to be Budgens of Islington, which clinched the Convenience Retailer of the Year award, in addition to the Best Large Store award and Community Retailer of the Year accolade.

Owner Paul Gardner said: “It feels absolutely fantastic winning this award. It’s great for the team; they work really hard. We’ve evolved the store to where it needs to be, not just to compete against high street retailers, but also online retailers and the likes of Deliveroo, too.”

Best Independent Store winner Mital Morar added: “I can’t express how delighted I am to have won this award. It’s a huge credit to my team who work their hardest to deliver every day of the week.

“Working in this industry can be incredibly tough at times, but for all the headaches it’s also one of the most exciting and rewarding jobs out there.”

CRA 2019 is brought to you by Convenience Store and The Grocer, sponsored by Bestway, Best-one, Booker, Booker Retail Partners, Camelot, Carlsberg and Pladis, and held in association with ACS, HIM and NCS 2019.