Waitrose managing director Mark Price was acclaimed the Heidrick & Struggles Retail Leader of the Year. While many believed Waitrose would suffer during the recession, Price has taken the grocer to new heights, gaining market share and expanding by acquisition and new format development. Price is a popular industry personality, said the judges, but also has “a steely competitive streak”.
The Shopping Location of the Year award went to Aberdeen’s Union Square. The scheme has had an extremely positive impact on the city and generated good sales for the retailers present.
The Retail Advertising Campaign of the Year was won by Specsavers’ “Should’ve gone to Specsavers”, which impressed the judges by having taken “complete ownership of its market”.
Boots scooped the Philips Lighting Product Innovation of the Year award with its No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum, described as a “groundbreaking product” which became an “overnight sensation”.
The BT Customer Service Initiative of the Year went to Lloydspharmacy for Online Doctor in Pharmacy, which allows customers inside a pharmacy to consult with a doctor via a computer and collect prescriptions based on the diagnosis. The judges called it a “genuinely innovative service” putting the retailer at the heart of the community it serves.
The American Express Store Manager of the Year award went to Homebase’s Swindon store manager, Pete Ware, who was praised for being “a genuine leader”. Waterstone’s Liverpool manager Ian Critchley was highly commended.
Supergroup won the Emerging Retailer of the Year award. The fashion specialist has established itself as “one of the hottest names in retail” observed the judges, and it is “a business which really is going places”. Supergroup founder Julian Dunkerton collected the award.
Value fashion group Primark was named Oracle Retailer of the Year and chief executive Paul Marchant collected the award. Primark, which has been expanding at home and abroad, continues to power ahead by providing bang on-trend fashion at rock-bottom prices.
Primark’s Bristol store has become one of the city’s landmarks and won the Land Securities Store Design of the Year award. National Geographic’s London shop was highly commended.
The Wipro International Retailer of the Year was Walmart. Its focus on customer needs enabled it to ride the recession well. The award was collected by Asda finance director Judith McKenna.
Oasis’s innovative iPhone application, an industry first and “absolutely of the moment”, took the Retail Technology Initiative of the Year award. Argos’s voice put-away in stores initiative was highly commended.
Specialist retailer Pets at Home took the Deloitte Employer of the Year award for its staff development excellence. Jeweller Beaverbrooks was highly commended.
Pets at Home was named the Home Delivery Network Speciality Retailer of the Year. Its standards of service and authority of its offer made it “everything a speciality retailer should be” said the judges. HMV was highly commended.
Internet powerhouse Amazon.co.uk won the Brandbank Online Retailer of the Year award for its relentless growth, product development and expansion into new categories. Managing director Brian McBride collected the prize. Argos was highly commended.
The range and depth of Co-operative Group’s initiatives made it, for the third year running, the EnvironCom Responsible Retailer of the Year. The judges said: “It’s streets ahead of anyone else in this field.”