Entries are open for the 2018 Convenience Retail Awards, the premium awards programme recognising excellence in the UK convenience store sector. The best of the industry will be invited to our festival-themed awards evening on Thursday 15 March 2018, so get your entry in now to join the industry’s elite

The time is right to have a good look at your store, evaluate where you are as a business and give your staff and your customers a boost by putting yourself forward for the Convenience Retail Awards. CRA 2018, brought to you by Convenience Store and The Grocer, is now open for entries via the awards website www.cr-awards.co.uk.

Earlier this year Northern Irish retailers Stephen and Donna Mullan stole the show by winning the top prize for their Mullan’s Spar store in Armagh, lifting the Convenience Retailer of the Year 2017 trophy, in addition to the Best Independent Store award.

Donna said: “To win this award means everything to us. We’ve worked so hard for this and we would like to dedicate this to our staff who have been so devoted to us. This makes all the hard work worth it.

“I think we won because we have been so devoted to our community, staff and our shoppers, and we put our life into our store.”

Best Small Store winner Chaz Chahal, of Simply Fresh The Forge Shop, Inkberrow, Worcestershire, was equally enthused. “The award means a lot. The journey we’ve been on has been challenging and stressful and this validates it all,” he said. “We’ve demonstrated that even with a small store you can still deliver for the needs of today’s shopper missions.”

Eat 17 in Hackney, London, won the Best Large Store award. George Duffy, business development manager at Eat 17, said: “We are very grateful as we try hard to be innovative and it’s great to see everything we have been doing has paid off in these awards.”

Jeeta Bhadal, co-owner of One Stop Woodhouse in Leeds, which won the Best Multiple or Franchise Store award, said he was “ecstatic” to have won. “I’m really touched. It’s good to get recognised and it confirms that what we’re doing is the right thing. What set us apart was probably our dedication, our knowledge built up over the years, along with guidance from One Stop.”

The benefits of winning stretch far beyond the thrill of the awards night itself, but the evening itself is great fun, so don’t delay, get your entry in today!

The Awards

The awards programme is in two parts: the store awards and the special awards.

Everyone who enters the awards will be considered for one of the following five categories:

Best Independent Convenience Store

Best Multiple or Franchise Convenience Store

Best Large Convenience Store

Best Small Convenience Store

Best New Convenience Store

In addition to the store awards, there will be a host of special awards for excellence in specific key areas of operation, such as fresh food, chilled food, food to go, off-licence, communication to shoppers and the coveted Retailer’s Retailer of the Year. See the next issue for a full update of all the special awards and the awards programme sponsors.

CRA 2018 is sponsored by Aunt Bessie’s, Best-One, Bestway, Carlsberg UK, Müller, Peas Please, Pernod Ricard, Pladis and Republic Technologies, and is supported by ACS and HIM Research & Consulting.

How to enter

Entry is via the official awards website at: www.cr-awards.co.uk

If you have any questions about your entry, call 01293 610439 or

Email: Catherine.lyne@wrbm.com

The closing date for entries is Monday 13 November 2017

Date of event: Thursday 15 March 2018