Best Soft Drinks Retailer of the Year
Supported by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
Clydebank Co-operative KeyStore MoreKilbowie
This store stocks a broad range of soft drinks covering all the bases, including a healthy selection of zero sugar drinks across sparkling and energy. The store also offers its customers a solid selection from emerging categories such as RTD tea and coffee. Chillers are merchandised to a high standard, with a clear flow to the fixture. Secondary siting and displays positioned near complementary categories help to drive link purchases and deliver value to customers.
This store makes excellent use of ambient and chilled space, all merchandised to a high standard. The retailer makes good use of promotions and its impactful displays tie in with key shopper missions such as the big night in. Day-Today Bellsbank’s range is comprehensive, ticking all the boxes from best sellers to categories in growth. The retailer has also tied the soft drinks range in with frozen ready meals and the food to go area, creating further opportunities to boost basket spend.
A large number of impactful ambient displays ensure soft drinks are hard to miss at Spar Peterhead. These secondary sitings encourage impulse purchases, while also offering consumers a variety of choices across pack sizes and flavour variants. There is clear communication of prices and promotions throughout, including in the chiller, where the retailer has given additional space to core high volume lines, making for an easier shopping experience and maintaining availability at key trading times.
Supported by Appy Shop
If the team at Day-Today Stenhousemuir ever gives up on retailing, a lucrative career could await in social media consulting. The store has over 29,000 followers on Facebook and recent activity riding trends on Tiktok has seen customers queuing down the street to snap up novelty lines. A musical advertising fridge with a digital screen helps to create a bit of in-store theatre, while the store’s innovative approach to the confectionery category has seen it attract customers from hundreds of miles away.
Everything you would expect from a quality forecourt store, plus a whole lot more, can be found at this KeyStore site in Lanark. The store has improved its already expansive food to go offer with the addition of new pizza and ice cream counters. A large digital display screen on the store’s exterior means offers can be communicated to passing consumers, including the store’s recently introduced delivery service. Outside the store, a refillable milk bottle station offers customers the opportunity to support local dairy farmers while reducing plastic waste.
Spar Watermill Service StationFraserburgh
A family business for over 20 years, next generation retailers Laura and Jenna don’t just share their offer across social media, they also take design inspiration from Instagram and apply it in store. A six-figure investment has led to the creation of a modern and pleasant shopping environment, complete with an expanded licensed section that includes innovative modular cage designs. This store’s selection of food and coffee to go concessions covers all key categories from desserts and milkshakes to pizza and local bakery.
Licensed Retailer of the Year
Supported by Distell International
Clydebank Co-operative KeyStore More HardgateClydebank
This is a store that knows its customers and its licensed offer reflects the mixed demographic it serves. Responding to customers’ requests, the well-stocked chiller and shelf ranges are constantly evolving to match trends in beers, wines and spirits. The store makes up its own seasonal gift packs and always has gift options on display. Considering itself a part of the community, the store has a responsible approach to alcohol sales.
Considered a destination drinks retailer within the local area, this store is always watching for the next trend or new brand. The store’s knowledgeable staff members are always happy to talk through new products with customers and a continuous programme of product training ensures they always know what they are talking about. Active on social media and keen to meet customer demands, the store stocks a wide range of pack sizes.
KeyStore More Forres DriveKirkcaldy
An impressive wall of fridges guides the customer to the licensed offer in this store. A mix of pro-active trend spotting and responding to customer requests in beer, wine and spirits has created a wide and varied range. Knowledgeable staff members are always happy to help a customer find something they will like. A responsible attitude to alcohol sales is at the heart of the ongoing training programme for staff.
Tobacco Retailer of the Year
Supported by Imperial Tobacco
This community-minded store with large competitors very close by puts great importance on responsible retailing and staff training. This is obvious in its approach to cigarettes and tobacco sales. Using the Challenge 25 scheme, staff are diligent on age queries and the store employs a refusal book to note any attempts by under-age customers to buy tobacco products. Holding two weeks’ stock, the store usually has what the customer wants.
This city centre store has a wide range of customers, including local office workers, students and tourists with a range to reflect these different tastes. Well versed in all legislation around the sale of tobacco, every staff member is knowledgeable and able to pass on brand and product advice to customers. Signage behind the counter and around the cigarettes gantry makes it plain this is a responsible tobacco retailer.
This store is at the heart of its community and tobacco is a key category for the regular customers and trade that passes along the busy road that it sits on. A responsible approach to legislation and sales is evident from the signs behind the counter and around the shutters that cover its assorted range. Staff members are up to date on the trends in the market, including tobacco alternatives.
Supported by Britvic
Premier @ DUSADundee
If there’s a way of making it more sustainable, then retailer Moria Dean and her team are going to find it. Located on University of Dundee’s campus, the pandemic created challenges for the store, however the team were still keen to improve their environmental credentials. Building on an offer that includes refillable cleaning and hygiene products, a reusable coffee cup incentive and reduced plastic packaging across a host of key lines, Premier @ DUSA recently added sustainable lines to its clothing range.
Premier Watson’s GrocerMoniaive
The team at Premier Watson’s Grocer do all that they can to cut plastic in store. Where possible, plastic has been removed from fresh produce lines; the store has invested in take-away coffee cups made from more sustainable materials; and retailer Graham Watson is always willing to give more environmentally friendly lines a try. Food waste is also a focus for this store, which has a partnership with the YMCA to divert items away from landfill and towards those who need it.
Turning a crisis into an opportunity is key to fighting climate change – and Scotmid knows a thing or two about that. When Scotmid Inverkeithing was forced to close due to water damage, the retailer took the opportunity to revamp the store and bolster its environmental credentials. Digital screens and electric shelf-edge labels have drastically reduced paper use, more energy efficient chillers have increased efficiency, and the use of clever algorithms ensures food waste is kept to an absolute minimum.
Symbol Store of the Year
Supported by Barr Soft Drinks
Day-Today Doonfoot, Barassie & CoyltonAyrshire
If you’re going to expand your business, you couldn’t pick a more challenging time to do it than in the middle of a pandemic. Despite the challenges, the team behind Day-Today Doonfoot and Barassie were undeterred and opened their third location, Day-Today Coylton, four weeks into lockdown. The new store offers everything customers have come to expect from its sister stores. High standards, effective promotions, seasonal celebrations, clever use of social media and well-trained, knowledgeable staff.
Premier Barry’sEast Renfrewshire
A family run business and a local institution, Premier Barry’s maintains the high standards expected from a symbol group partner, while retaining the individuality and local knowledge that keeps customers coming back. Stores in Cathcart, Giffnock and Clarkston are heavily promoted on Premier Barry’s social media channel, which takes an effective and often irreverent approach with outstanding engagement levels. A solid food to go selection and expansive off sales offer ensures the tills are ringing across Premier Barry’s locations.
Choosing a symbol partner becomes a whole lot easier when one of your owners is an experienced Londis development manager. That experience is put to good practical use at Londis Renton, where merchandising standards are high, promotions are well executed and the range effectively taps into contemporary retail trends. A bespoke food to go offer linked to a popular local delivery platform has helped this relatively new store to hit the ground running, allowing Londis Renton to serve as a one-stop shop for the big night in.
Premier Your StoreGreenock
Retailing is a family affair at this Premier store located in the heart of the community. Spend five minutes in Premier Your Store and you will not be surprised to discover it’s the top customer at its local Booker depot. Footfall is sky high at this store, but thankfully retailer Jai Dillon has the support of two sons and two daughters who know their customers well and provide service with a smile. Offering a range that perfectly balances everyday value and attractive promotions, Premier Your Store, Greenock, is clearly hitting the mark.
Innovation in Impulse
Supported by Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I
This is a store with an eye on modern trends. The moment customers step into the shop they are faced with an aisle of snacks merchandised to highlight value. There is an extensive vape range behind the counter and ice cream positioned where the paying customer cannot miss it. An outstanding feature of the store is the large walk-in refrigerated range of wines and beers that fills an entire wall.
Premier One Stop ShopLeven
Excellent merchandising makes this store easy to navigate and to shop in. An impressive food-to-go counter and coffee machines at the entrance have been supplemented with the addition of seating outside. As well as a wide range of delivery apps there is a system for taking orders for food and groceries over the phone. With a zero waste attitude, products approaching their expiry dates are made available for free to locals.
This village store carries an impressive stock at competitive prices across many categories and takes pride in the important part it plays in the local community. At the same time, it refuses to rest on its laurels and is always evolving. With local bakery products and a contemporary alcohol range, the most recent development is a food-to-go service promoted on an active screen that can be seen throughout the store.
Best New Store Award
Supported by Scottish Grocer
One O OneCranhill
Since undergoing a significant refit in February of this year, this store has seen its weekly sales and basket spend double – a trend which looks set to continue. As part of the refurbishment, trading space was increased by 80 per cent, while the store’s food range doubled. Improvements to the offer include a new frozen and chilled food range, as well as the introduction of a home delivery service offered to customers within a three-mile radius of the Cranhill area.
This store celebrated its first birthday on 1 September, marking the occasion with 116 per cent weekly sales growth on the previous owners’ figures. The store serves as a one-stop shop for the community, offering a broad selection ranging from gluten free and healthier products through to food to go. Scotmid has invested heavily in transforming food to go in Bo’Ness and the offer evolves throughout the day, from its morning breakfast service and a daytime lunch banquet to an evening dinner buffet takeaway by night.
Young retailer Anand Cheema has a passion for convenience, which is clear to see across this refurbished store. Opening his doors in August 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Anand has sought to create a community store that serves the needs of locals. Continuous investment is evident throughout, with the retailer taking a trial and error approach to ensure the store is tailored to its customer base. It seems to be working, with sales up fourfold since the store was revamped.
Community Retailer of the Year
Supported by British American Tobacco
Community is at the centre of every decision made at this store, from a weekly portion of profits being put aside for food parcels to free meals for the homeless. Throughout the Covid pandemic, these retailers have supported local vulnerable families and frontline workers. The store’s donations to the local hospital include 1,000 bottles of hand sanitiser and hospital staff showed their appreciation by donating a defibrillator to the store.
This store is at the heart of its community. Sited on the main road through the three villages that form its core customer base, the community spirit is evident from the moment you see the shop, with water bowls and leash hooks for dogs. A series of seasonal family activities, often with staff in fancy dress, ensures that Spar Balintore is at the heart of community activity and fund raising.
The community spirit at this store begins on the pavement outside. What started as a book and games swap shelf quickly developed into a full fixture where the retailer puts goods approaching their sell by dates for locals to help themselves free of charge. The store operator also delivers prescription medication and has come to an arrangement through the YMCA to add damaged stock from supermarkets to the free shelves.
Employee of the Year
Supported by Nisa Retail
Natalie McKerracherScotmid, Menstrie
Having only started her retail career in 2016, Natalie has risen quickly through the ranks at Scotmid, working her way up to supervisor and on to senior team leader. During the pandemic, Natalie took things to the next level, creating a delivery service for elderly, shielding and housebound members of the community. In addition to supporting the community, Natalie has been keen to help other colleagues with their professional development.
Stephanie ThomOne O One, Lochdochart Road
With a no nonsense approach and an eye for detail, Stephanie is a key member of the One O One team. Stephanie is responsible for the day-to-day running of two stores within the One O One estate, covering everything from ordering and merchandising to staff training and customer delivery. An effective leader, Stephanie ensures the stores under her charge maintain high standards and staff offer excellent customer service, with a smile.
Tanya WilsonSpar, Eastriggs
Community stores didn’t just provide essential goods and services during the pandemic, the very best also provided wider support – and a few laughs along the way. At Spar Eastriggs, Tanya Wilson has put the store at the heart of its community, with activities ranging from seasonal celebrations and teddy bears’ picnics to a store sponsored fun day event that has brought the whole village together.
Independent Retailer of the Year
Supported by Booker Wholesale
Double-digit sales growth figures would be impressive in any year, but when you’re posting year-on-year gains against the boom in sales brought about by the first lockdown of 2020, you must be doing something right. Premier Girvan continues to be a star performer, with high standards, excellent merchandising and knowledgeable staff combining to create a comfortable shopping experience for locals and tourists alike. Recent decisions to introduce home-made food to go and invest in some social media expertise should help to drive the business even further forward in the years ahead.
Premier One Stop ShopLeven
An extensive refurbishment last autumn has seen this Premier store really step up its game, offering a range tailored to the local community in a pleasant, easy to navigate shopping environment. With a social media presence that would make some Instagram influencers blush, retailer Faz Iqbal has a direct line to his customers and the excitement he generates online leads to strong sales in store. A booming delivery business and a revamped food to go offer are welcome additions to this thriving store. Festive cheer is not in short supply at Premier One Stop Shop either, with the store’s outdoor Christmas display brightening up the high street for all.
If you’re looking for a case study of the modern convenience store, you could do worse than taking a trip to Falkirk. Retailer Anand Cheema’s store is kitted out with all the mod cons, from electronic video ticket rails and expansive chilled provision, to coffee and milkshake to go solutions that are proving to be a hit with the local community. For those who like a tipple, Cheema’s active approach to sourcing beers, wines and spirits means the licensed offer is a cut above what residents may have first expected when the store first opened its doors.
Chilled Retailer of the Year
Supported by Addo Food Group
KeyStore More Forres DriveKirkcaldy
A refurbishment in 2019 saw this store expand its chilled provisions, a decision that has been paying off. The retailer sources a tailored range of chilled products from Nisa through KeyStore and also caters to local tastes with lines supplied by two local butchers and a local fish supplier. Working to Nisa planograms adapted to the local market, the chiller is easy to navigate and producing strong sales.
At this store, if it’s in the chiller, it’s probably enjoying double-digit year-on-year growth – against what were already high figures driven by pandemic purchasing in 2020. In addition to its core chilled range sourced from Londis, this store sells £5,000 of product per week sourced from a local butcher and has introduced a range of Polish brands to meet customer demand. With footfall up 25% on last year, this store is obviously doing something right.
CJ Lang overhauled this company-owned store last December and chilled was a major focus of the revamp. Since then, chilled has benefited from improved category margins and volume sales have increased by more than 50 per cent. Promotions are well signposted with POS materials and subcategory blocked merchandising makes shopping easy for customers. It’s clearly paying off, with chilled jumping from sixth best performing category to fourth since the refurb.
Customer Delivery Store of the Year
Supported by Snappy Shopper
This store has a laser focus on customer satisfaction, providing 300 deliveries per week to customers. The retailer highlighted how they have reached new customers who do not normally shop in store. A disabled customer who relied on the service throughout lockdown took the time to visit the store recently in person for the first time to thank the staff. This heart-warming story highlights excellent customer service and a real community presence. The store has several vehicles branded, highlighting its offer as it whizzes around the local community.
One Stop AirblesMotherwell
This store is achieving almost 700 deliveries per week. They have reached a scale where they are now building a dedicated home delivery area at the rear of the store. Customer service is excellent with a 4.9 /5 customer rating. The store focuses on prompt delivery with the vast majority of orders being delivered in under one hour. The owner is continually looking for ways to grow his business and works proactively with his home delivery provider.
This store demonstrated a first-class home delivery operation. Every aspect of its operation has been thought through carefully and presented professionally. Customer satisfaction is central and data is used to highlight trends and continuously improve. A clear partnership approach is evident between the store and its home delivery provider. Marketing is very prominent, with POS materials used internally and externally including vehicle wraps.
The Entrepreneur Award
Supported by JTI
For this award the teams at Scottish Grocer and JTI locked themselves away to consider who best represents the entrepreneurial spirit found across Scotland’s retail sector. They were looking for a thriving business with a plan for the future and the courage to invest.
Industry Achievement of the Year
Supported by Republic Technologies UK
Over the years this award has recognised success throughout the sector, celebrating individuals from suppliers who’ve gone beyond the call of duty for Scottish retailers; Captains of Scotland’s independent retailing industry who have built impressive groups; and some fantastic and inspirational family businesses.