September is a vital time for retailers as they make their final preparations for peak and start to reflect on the successes of the past year at the Retail Week Supply Chain Awards.

It’s slightly worrying when you consider just how quickly time flies by. September is already upon us, the nights are getting shorter and those memories of blissful sun, sea and sand are fading fast. This week we have seen the kids return to the classroom, but September is also time for retailers and carriers to knuckle down as they put the finishing touches to their plans for the upcoming peak season.

However, September is also a time for reflection as it plays host to the Retail Week Supply Chain Awards, which provides the opportunity to celebrate industry best practice. This is now the fourth year running that Hermes has sponsored the awards and every year we are more and more impressed with this industry’s commitment to delivering the highest levels of service.

Busy times ahead

Since the last awards, it has certainly been a momentous 12 months for the retail industry in the UK. In January, the online retail association IMRG revealed online sales smashed through the £100bn barrier for the first time, boosted by significant sales during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, as well as the peak season itself. If recent reports are to go by we are in for an even busier winter. Global digital commerce consultant Salmon recently predicted that this year’s Black Friday would be the first £1bn online shopping day in the UK’s history, with a 22% increase in consumers making an online purchase.

To effectively manage this significant growth, the industry is continually pushing the boundaries to bring to market an exciting range of innovative products and services, ultimately enhancing the level of service provided to the end consumer. For many years, The Retail Week Supply Chain Awards has provided a stage to recognise these achievements and applaud the talented individuals and teams that work tirelessly to stay ahead in this fast-paced sector.

Celebrating success

This year’s event takes place on September 24 at the Hilton Park Lane in London, and Carole Woodhead, our chief executive, will be representing Hermes on the night as the awards are presented. You can see the shortlist in full here, including those nominated for The Hermes Supply Chain Transformation Award.

Our clients include many of the UK’s leading retailers and I am extremely happy to see several of them make the shortlist. We have witnessed a lot of hard work and dedication over the last 12 months, not just from our clients but also across the sector as a whole, and I wish all of those nominated the very best of luck.

  • Mark Pettit is sales & marketing director at Hermes