Best Soft Drinks Outlet of the Year
Supported by Coca-Cola European Partners
Londis Solo ConvenienceBailleston
Knowledge of national trends can be useful, but it is knowledge of the local market that can really set a retailer apart. This family-run shop in the heart of Baillieston has tailored every inch of its soft drinks offer to its regular customers, with a good selection of brands and products – including American imports popular in the community – with promos and new products regularly highlighted on social media.
As an independent retailer with no symbol group to advise on ranging and merchandising, this busy neighbourhood shop has put together its extensive range of soft drinks using experience and knowledge of the community and surrounding area. A new bank of chillers ensures the sizeable range, which encompasses everything from water to flavours via low and no sugar and full-fat variants, is a focal point in the store – impeccably maintained and expertly merchandised.
You don’t have to spend long in this local shop to see evidence of the three and a half decades of experience behind it. Categories are well signed and merchandised, with promotions clearly flagged on screens located throughout the store. Eye-catching ambient displays are a strong sales driver for soft drinks in the shop and the main fixture is well presented, with multiple facings helping to highlight the most popular products to customers.
Supported by Philip Morris Limited
This store has developed an impressive online presence, with a website highlighting promotions as well as taking orders for in-store collection or delivery complemented by regularly updated Facebook and Twitter accounts. Its dessert counter also boasts a seating area that offers customers free wifi as well as charging points for mobile devices. Always with an eye on range enhancement, the store now offers a variety of crisps and confectionery from Ireland.
Pinkie Farm Convenience StoreMusselburgh
With a full refit in the summer of 2019, the layout of this store has been designed to draw the customer to its fresh range, with added focus on chilled and an emphasis on quality. A new staff communication system has also been introduced, increasing efficiency across store operations. Changes to the food-to-go menu have resulted in a longer trading day for the service.
From a sandwich partnership with the Social Bite charity to a bargain bin for items going out of date, this store has taken a modern approach to retailing. The store makes use of a volumatic cash handling machine, as well as a system borrowed from Formula 1 to deliver refrigerated energy savings and handheld terminals to streamline staff operations. A self-fill station for dry goods has proved popular with local customers.
Confectionery Retailer of the Year
Supported by Mars Wrigley
With a large confectionery display facing windows on the approach to the store’s entrance, shoppers are left in no doubt that they can get all their favourite sweets inside. A regularly updated seasonal display helps promote special offers. Further into the shop, there are many other opportunities to pick up sweets with clearly marked sites offering hard candy novelties, price-marked chocolate bars and a wide range of imported American sweets.
This store has put confectionery right at the heart of its activity. From the moment you walk through the door, sweets are front and centre. Seasonal displays and bespoke gift baskets keep the offer attractive for the shopper. As well as big sellers like hanging bags and multi-packs, the owners offer a wide range of American and international sweets often sourced and imported from overseas especially for their own shelves.
Scotmid Co-operative RimbletonGlenrothes
The large main confectionery aisle in this store is supported by promotional and seasonal sites strategically positioned throughout. All the big brands are on show with the best sellers grouped together. Sections for singles and multi-packs are well presented and clearly defined, making it easy for customers to find what they are after. The store’s broad range, both in variety and price, caters to its diverse customer base.
Family Business of the Year
Supported by JET
Premier Cot House ServicesDunoon
This busy store within a service station is operated by three generations of a family and is valued by local shoppers. The store offers competitive pricing, a strong grocery range, and its food-to-go offer is popular with locals and passers-by. Each family member within the team has a clearly defined role but they are all trained in every aspect of the operation and can swap roles when needed.
Spar Lochcarron Food CentreStrathcarron
With three generations of the family still regularly seen in the store, this well-ranged shop serves the local community throughout the year and during the busy tourist season. The family atmosphere has created a welcoming environment which is reflected in the helpful attitude of the staff, with local shoppers greeted on first name terms. Within the family team, clearly defined duties ensure the smooth running of the business.
Spar Clyne CondorratCumbernauld
The same family has operated a store on this site since 1972 and, now into a fourth generation, grandparents, parents and children all play a part in its smooth running. The bright, modern store has been regularly updated to stay abreast of retailing trends. Known as a responsible retailer, the family operating Spar Clyne Condorrat is well respected locally and the shop has become a valued part of its community.
Food to Go Award
Supported by Scottish Grocer & Convenience Retailer
Now occupying 50% of the store, Brysons Londis’ food-to-go offer has been a hit with existing customers and helped to drive new ones to the store. Cold meal deals offering freshly made sandwiches and baguettes from local suppliers, as well as a hot food option from the Stone Willy’s Pizza franchise, ensure the range offers something for everyone. An attractive full frontage window allows passers-by to view the food-to-go service inside, helping to attract new customers to the store.
Pinkie Farm Convenience StoreMusselburgh
A major refit at Pinkie Farm has seen the store maximise the opportunities for its food-to-go range. Enthusiastic store manager Dan Brown has excellent knowledge of the category and the store has been designed to take the customer through the food-to-go area, resulting in greater spend. An impressive range of breakfast, lunch and evening offers is coupled with options for customers who prefer to cook at home with freshly prepared chopped veg, sauces and meat options ready to take away.
Scotmid Co-operative ThornhillElgin
Scotmid Thornhill offers a mouth-watering food-to-go experience thanks to attractive displays and eye-catching promotions. The options range from an extensive breakfast offer to a Pizza Art brand, made to order ensuring that customers can enjoy an evening offer seven days a week. Scotmid Thornhill also offers a large chilled range, with freshly made in-store salad, pasta bowls and a great vegan range to suit all customers. An innovative new self-service Wing & Rib bar makes for a strong point of difference.
Licensed Retailer of the Year
Supported by Distell International
Spar Buckie Service StationBuckie
The clean, contemporary fit-out in this family-run store puts the extensive beers, wines and spirits range squarely in the spotlight. With an emphasis on gins and gin liqueurs, the shop also showcases a strong selection of wines and beers, including from a local brewery. Regular social media activity keeps customers up to speed with new products and offers, as well as promoting the range of seasonal and special occasion hampers made in-store.
Clydebank Co-operative/KeyStore More HardgateClydebank
Licensed is an important part of this store’s business and the team ensures it ticks all the boxes for its broad customer base. The extensive chiller and on-shelf areas house a broad range of beers, ciders, wines and spirits across a variety of pack sizes. There’s also a dedicated low and no-alcohol display area. A thorough staff training programme is in place. The store offers seasonal specials and other promotions, which are highlighted on social media.
The impressive licensed section in this Ayrshire store continues to evolve, driven by drinks trends and customer demand. And while gin is still commanding centre stage, there is an extensive selection of malt whiskies and a growing range of rums, alongside a number of local beers and a range of low and no-alcohol products. The team continues to strengthen the store’s social media presence – promoting everything from ‘malts of the month’ to tasting nights.
Post Office Retailer of the Year
Supported by Post Office
Cairneyhill Spar & Post OfficeBlantyre
A commitment to customer service drives everything at Spar Cairneyhill and its Post Office services are right at the heart of that. A ‘drop and go’ service attracts local businesses, and the store’s prescription collection service provides a valuable amenity to the community. All staff are fully Post Office trained thanks to a comprehensive training system.
Dalrymple Spar & Post OfficeAyrshire
This store successfully combines a thriving grocery operation with a busy Post Office service. Facilities include a mobile Post Office van that travels as far as an hour’s drive from the store to provide services to remote villages – visiting some as often as five days a week. Offering currency exchange and business banking as well as ‘drop and go’ among its services, Spar Dalrymple has become a destination store.
Merchant City Post OfficeGlasgow
Occupying a high footfall location in Glasgow city centre, Post Office services play an important role at this store. Inside, there is an easy pathway through the bright convenience shop to the Post Office, which includes a dedicated business banking area. All staff are Post Office trained and there is a system in place to ensure that they all keep up to date on the latest developments.
Tobacco Retailer of the Year
Supported by Imperial Tobacco
Cults Stores – KeyStoreAberdeen
There is a sense of warmth and community in KeyStore Cults that instantly helps you to understand why – despite larger supermarkets being in close proximity – this store excels. Building an exceptional reputation after over ten years in business, retailer Chris Cobb ensures that the staff are kept up to date on all training and regulations with regards to the Scottish tobacco market. Their knowledge of the local market is invaluable and Chris knows his loyal customers so well that availability is never an issue at this store.
Londis Solo ConvenienceBaillieston
This Londis store goes above and beyond to ensure its customers are getting the best possible service, from opting for cheaper than price mark to working with local reps to creating bespoke incentives. The team at Londis Solo Convenience know their stuff, and make use of the training apps delivered by brands. Staff are also assessed through platforms such as Survey Monkey to make sure their knowledge is up to scratch. They also have such a strong relationship with their customers that orders can be amended to account for their holidays.
Upon walking into this store it is immediately apparent that tobacco is a key category. Despite the shop being small in size, the gantry selection is comprehensive – with an impressive selection on sale. That selection is made easier to navigate by fully trained staff, who have the confidence to discuss the category with customers. Store owner Tanveer Baber still makes a cash and carry run to keep up with the demand for tobacco products at this busy store. Shawlands News is clearly a hit with the local community.
Vaping Retailer of the Year
Supported by Liberty Flights
KeyStore Express CorsefordJohnstone
This KeyStore is at the heart of its community. The enthusiasm from the store manager is infectious and the rapport with customers is evident. Space is used efficiently and effectively at KeyStore Express Corseford. A media screen is used to show promotions and the vaping display below, which is clear and visible from the store entrance. The range is small but it sells well and is tailored to the customer base. Store staff engage with customers and make changes based on feedback.
RaceTrack Autoport ServicesGlasgow
Racetrack’s vape range is about as comprehensive as they come. The range is deliberately situated away from the tills so customers don’t feel rushed to buy, giving them the time to browse and ask questions to the highly trained staff on hand. The team at RaceTrack ensure they are getting the right quality for their customers by building relationships with suppliers throughout the country. This forecourt site also offers online vape ordering, with home delivery or in-store collection both available.
Spar Havannah StreetGlasgow
The team at Spar Havannah Street knows its clientele well. Situated in the heart of Glasgow’s collegelands, the store has tailored its range to meet the needs of a mixed international and local customer base. Spar Havannah Street’s fresh and modern look makes for a pleasant shopping environment. An attractive vaping display with media screens either side ensures promotions and new products are clearly displayed and visible from the front door.
Supported by Scottish Grocer & Convenience Retailer
Clydebank Co-operative/KeyStore More HardgateClydebank
Very clear overhead signage makes this store easy to navigate and comfortable for the shopper. All staff members are trained in merchandising, keeping the shelves filled and the shop looking tidy throughout the day. The manager is keen on seasonal promotions and the store runs a series of special visual displays for big shopping events across the year. Aisle front ends are regularly updated with limited time offers.
Premier Linktown LocalKirkcaldy
This compact store is well-ranged with a good flow throughout. Clear signs above the shelves make it easy to identify where each category is from the moment the shopper steps into the store. Chillers and logically grouped aisles create a good flow for the basket-shopper and promotions are placed at strategic points along that shopping route, with big-pack drinks near the till and specially-priced chocolate within the confectionery display.
A refit early in 2019 has resulted in a bright, well laid-out and welcoming store. There is clear signage throughout, resulting in an easy flow among well-merchandised aisles with a wide choice among favourite everyday products. Special offers are clearly marked and easy to understand with bright promotional signs on shelves and chiller doors. On-shelf priority and allocation of space reflects that store staff understand their shoppers’ needs.
Supported by TOMRA
Mo Razzaq is one of the retailers leading the charge on DRS. Since the policy was announced, Mo has toured Europe, visiting retailers across the continent to learn as much as he can about other schemes. A reverse vending trial in his own store gave the local community a taste of what is to come and the charity donations raised through his self-run deposit return scheme have given some good causes a welcome boost. The store’s commitment to sourcing recyclable products is also impressive.
Moira Dean and her team at Premier @ The Union have gone above and beyond in their bid to source sustainable products for the store’s young adult clientele. From refillable household supplies and affordable canvas bags to recycled packaging options across a range of categories, waste reduction is a key consideration throughout. The store operates and funds its own deposit return scheme, and staff have been active in working with the university and students association to reduce waste across campus.
Watson’s Grocers & DaughtersMoniaive
A community store in a rural location, Watson’s Grocers has embraced sustainable practices throughout the business. The store houses a reverse vending machine capable of taking back plastic, aluminium and glass, meaning the small village is already on the path to successfully implementing DRS when it goes live in Scotland. Working closely with local community groups, store owner Graham and the team at Watson’s have played a key role in educating the next generation on the importance of sustainability.
Symbol Store of the Year
Supported by Barr Soft Drinks
Day-Today Barassie & DoonfootAyrshire
Retailers Ross Macpherson and Mandi Duncan work hard to extract value from every square inch of their stores. High standards, clever promotions and excellent merchandising ensure that the tills are ringing morning, noon and night. When it comes to in-store theatre, the pair don’t do half measures. Whatever seasonal event is on the horizon, customers will be sure to find decorations and dressed up staff when they pop down to their local Day-Today.
Premier Girvan & AyrAyrshire
Investment is the lifeblood of any successful business and Ian Mitchell hasn’t shied away from spending on his stores. Improvements in food to go, as well as expanded frozen and chilled categories have led to some excellent margin increases across these Ayrshire stores. Recent refits have also transformed the shopping experience for customers. Excellent use of the symbol’s promotions and merchandising to a high standard is evident throughout.
A slick forecourt site where convenience retailing is more than an afterthought, Walter Bryson’s Londis store has something for everyone. From high-margin coffee machines to a comprehensive food-to-go offer, Walter knows how to make the most of the square footage he has got. Careful consideration has been put into customer flow, and it’s hard to imagine visiting this forecourt and leaving without an unplanned purchase.
Day-Today Prestonpans Village StorePrestonpans
Ferhan Ashiq faces some tough competition at his Day-Today store in Prestonpans, but the retailer is more than fit for the challenge. High standards, a strong food-to-go offer, competitive promotions and a range that is tailored to the local community ensure this symbol store can compete with nearby multiples. Ferhan’s fastidious approach to EPOS data means every single SKU on shelf has earned its place.
Innovation in Impulse
Supported by Lucozade Ribena Suntory
Located on the University of Dundee campus, this shop is dedicated to the local student population, stocking everything from grocery staples to stationery and clothing. A refit last summer considerably increased floorspace and the team has used it well. Though it’s now a bigger shop than ever, every product has to earn its space and the team keeps an eye on what’s working. Products and promotions are regularly highlighted on the Yo-Yo loyalty app.
Newly reopened after a significant refurb, this 3,400 square-foot shop in the heart of Inverkeithing caters to a broad spectrum of customers and fixtures have been added to appeal to all of them. From hot and cold food to go through to snacks and confectionery, the extensive impulse range is prominently positioned at the front of the store, with frequently-changing promotions and displays helping to catch the attention of regulars and passing trade alike.
Spar Havannah StreetGlasgow
Catering to a diverse clientele of students and office workers this city store took a bold risk when it opened last year by positioning some of its popular impulse items at the rear of the shop. The gamble has paid off, with customers picking up additional items as they travel through the store. As many of the local students are from overseas, the store is well stocked with a selection of international food and drink products.
Best New Store Award
Supported by MacB
A forecourt store that has been revamped with the consumer in mind. Brysons Londis offers a comprehensive range of products across categories, with a carefully considered store flow that makes shopping a breeze. Adding a food-to-go counter and offering meal deals for school kids has made this store extremely popular with local workers and school children. Run by an experienced retailer who knows his customer base and their needs, this forecourt is a gem in the community.
JG Ross, Highclere Food StoreInverurie
Highclere Food Store, Inverurie has undergone an extensive makeover and now offers its customers a bright, modern space to shop and stop for a bite to eat. Since the store opened, footfall has increased by over 20% which is no surprise given the new food-to-go offer, complete with sit-down dining area. The store layout is easy to navigate, and the decision to include a kids play area makes this store a hit with parents and children alike.
Scotmid Drumnadrochit has quickly become an integral part of the community since opening its doors in 2019. Led by an enthusiastic manager with a strong team behind him, this store houses an impressive food-to-go offer. The store’s large grocery range also means that shoppers do not have to travel the 20 miles to the nearest supermarket. Scotmid Drumnadrochit’s spacious aisles make for a pleasant shopping experience. Its outstanding community work reinforces the great relationship this store has with its customers.
Community Retailer of the Year
Supported by British American Tobacco
A basket of free groceries for locals to help themselves to at the entrance to this store highlights its commitment to the community. This service continues inside where a seated area offers free wifi and phone charging. An after school club, a boxing club and a group supporting bereaved families are among beneficiaries of donations. The shop’s summer barbecue with fairground rides is a highlight of the local calendar.
KeyStore Express CorsefordJohnstone
This store is not only at the heart of its community geographically, it is central to much of the social activity in the area. Its Christmas lights switch-on event and a fun day for more than 230 children bring the community together. A defibrillator funded by the community is sited on the wall at its entrance. Litter picking and free-fruit Friday also contribute to customer wellbeing.
Watson’s Grocers & DaughtersMoniaive, Dumfries & Galloway
Photographs of locals on the walls illustrate this store’s importance to its community. A lounge area at the front is used by the local women’s group for regular meetings, as well as being a popular coffee and cake spot. At the back of the store, a reverse vending machine, which accepts glass, plastic and cans, raises money for the local school. School groups often visit the shop for events.
Employee of the Year
Supported by Nisa Retail
Angela GibsonSpar, Renfrew
With 19 years’ service at the store, Angie is now a co-manager who leads by example. Angie will not ask staff to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. She sees her duty stretching beyond the shop walls and is determined that the store be seen as a valuable part of the community. Angie’s attitude is reflected in her relationship with elderly customers and adherence to responsible retailing practices.
Glenda ReillyDay-Today Bourtreehill Supermarket, Irvine
Having started at the store when it was the local Co-op 18 years ago, Glenda moved back to the site three years ago. She has always lived locally and considers the shop and her role to be important to the community. In her role as store manager, Glenda’s duties include ordering, setting rotas and training new staff. Above all else, however, Glenda takes pride in the store’s hard-working team.
Paul StewartScotmid Co-operative, Strathaven
Paul has been behind the counter in Strathaven since he moved north from his native London 17 years ago, but he humbly thinks he doesn’t do anything extraordinary in his job. There are many locals who would say otherwise as outside of his ordinary duties, Paul is a caring figure in the community – especially to those whose shopping he carries home. Meeting people is his favourite part of the job.
Independent Retailer of the Year
Supported by Booker Wholesale
Day-Today Bourtreehill SupermarketIrvine
Imran Ali and his team at Bourtreehill Supermarket never seem to stand still. This Ayrshire store houses what can feel like an entire high street under one roof. A vast chilled section, plenty of frozen provision, a butchers, fresh local bakery products and a food-to-go kitchen mean Bourtreehill Supermarket really is a one-stop shop. The decision to convert an unused stock room into a soft play area was a masterstroke in generating footfall, as well as a great amenity for the local community.
Opening on a site that Tesco backed out of takes a bit of bravery, but Ian Mitchell and the team at Premier Girvan have the retail skills to make it work. Ian has converted one of the supermarket giant’s mothballed sites into a thriving business. A store refurbishment in the summer of 2018 has paid dividends at Premier Girvan, with a dramatic increase in chilled provision and the installation of both food and coffee-to-go solutions leading to significant sales growth for the store.
Premier Linktown LocalKirkcaldy
Stand still for too long at Premier Linktown Local and you’re likely to get in someone’s way, such is the steady stream of footfall at this popular community store. The store isn’t busy by accident either, as retailer Faraz Iqbal’s clever use of social media has built a following for the business that would make some big brands blush. Immaculate standards are a given at Premier Linktown Local, where Faraz makes sure every inch of his small store is working for him at all times.
The Entrepreneur Award
Supported by JTI
Entrepreneurs see opportunities and follow them through. They have vision, show initiative and work with confidence. They are driving forces of virtually every industry. Scottish Grocer and JTI have found the perfect recipient, running a business in Scottish independent retailing with exactly these qualities... actively seeking new opportunities, working to achieve bold goals and delivering success. Our Entrepreneur Award recipient will be exclusively revealed on the evening.
Industry Achievement of the Year
Supported by Republic Technologies UK
This is an award for individuals who have made their mark on Scotland’s independent trade for the benefit of all. While the industry has gone through and continues to go through huge change, the most important influences on the trade remain the people who play their part in it – as owners and entrepreneurs, managers and educators, activists and innovators. Who will take the award this year?