Award Categories

There are plenty of opportunities to win at the Scottish Grocer Awards 2023, with fifteen awards up for grabs. Each year, we welcome new winners and familiar faces, so if you believe it's your store's time to shine, then we want to hear from you!

Vaping Retailer of the Year

Judging Criteria

Vaping has been a runaway success for many Scottish convenience stores, as retailers tap into the high margin opportunity that this category provides. As more and more adult smokers make the switch to vaping, the category is set to grow in importance for Scotland’s retailers.

BAT UK logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • How does your range reflect customer demands and the latest category trends?
  • What have you done to create an eye-catching, easily navigable display of vaping products?
  • How do you engage with customers and demonstrate your product knowledge with consumers?

Licensed Retailer of the Year

Judging Criteria

Beer, wines, spirits and other drinks play a major role in many Scottish local stores. However, drinks is a category that needs careful attention. We’re looking for a retailer who provides a great drinks service and who does so creatively and responsibly.

CVH Logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • What makes your range and display of alcohol stand out and meet customer needs?
  • How do you make use of promotional activity throughout the year?
  • How do you keep on top of market developments, staff training and compliance?

Home Delivery Store of the Year

Judging Criteria

Home delivery has emerged as a key driver of sales and margin growth for many convenience retailers across Scotland. And as competition heats up in the delivery sphere, this award recognises retailers who go the extra mile without sacrificing on standards.

Snappy shopper logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • What have you done to grow your home delivery service and improve customer satisfaction?
  • How is the range you offer effectively tailored to the home delivery platform?
  • How do you make best use of the technology at your disposal?

The Innovation Award

Judging Criteria

This award recognises that innovation is crucial to community retailing and that Scotland has some remarkably innovative convenience retailers. This award will be presented to a store, retailer or retailing company that has shown new thinking and/or imaginative application of existing best practice to improve the service offered to customers and improve commercial performance.

IQOS logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • What new ideas, products, services, training, working practices or customer engagement have you introduced?
  • How have you made good use of equipment and materials, including technology?
  • What have been the positive results for your business because of your effective new thinking and changes?

Entrepreneur Award

Judging Criteria

Entrepreneurs see opportunities and follow them through. They have vision, show initiative, work with confidence and they are the driving forces of their industry. Scottish Grocer and JTI are looking for an individual running a business or businesses in Scottish independent retailing who shows those qualities, seeks new opportunities, works to achieve bold goals and delivers success.

JTI logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • Explain why you think you have outstanding market knowledge and consumer insight.
  • Demonstrate how you have a forward-looking attitude to commercial risk and have been willing to invest in your ideas.
  • Tell us what makes you a great leader, motivator, and decision-maker with the flexibility to re-evaluate situations when necessary.

Employee of the Year

Judging Criteria

Staff are the lifeblood of any business. Without their skills, determination and quality, achieving business targets would be almost impossible. Your staff provide something special and here is the chance to thank someone for their dedication, ideas and hard work.

scottish grocer logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • Please tell us your employee’s full name, role in the business and history in the store.
  • What are your reasons for the nomination? Tell us what makes your employee special.
  • Give us examples of their enthusiasm, dedication and hard work for the job, the business and the customers it serves.

Tobacco Retailer of the Year

Judging Criteria

The UK tobacco category continues to be a significant element of the Scottish retail mix. Tobacco shoppers visit more frequently, therefore, tobacco remains a catalyst for impulse purchases from other categories, such as snacks and drinks.

Imperial Tobacco logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • What steps have you taken to ensure your range always meets the latest trends and needs of your local adult smokers?
  • What have you done to ensure availability of tobacco products is maintained at all times and properly merchandised in store?
  • How have you used your category knowledge to grow your tobacco sales?
  • What actions have you taken to ensure you and your staff understand the legislation and compliance aspects around selling tobacco?

Best Soft Drinks Retailer of the Year

Judging Criteria

Soft drinks are integral to modern convenience retailing operations due to the diverse range of shoppers they appeal to and relevance to different consumptions occasions. Judges will be looking for stores that score highly on getting the range right, running impactful promotions and merchandising their soft drinks effectively.

CCEP logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • How does your range cater for current trends, like the growth of zero sugar options, and provide shoppers with a wide choice of soft drinks?
  • What do you do in store to alert shoppers to the presence of soft drinks, latest innovation and promotions, including cross-category deals?
  • How do your displays make an impact and make it easy for customers to find what they want?

Sustainability Champion

Judging Criteria

Sustainability is now a key consideration for shoppers. It’s also high on the agenda for all forward-thinking retailers, as sustainable practices help to safeguard our future both ecologically and economically. By taking steps to reduce carbon footprint, cut back on waste, and tackle litter, many of Scotland’s convenience retailers play a valuable role in their community.

Britvic Logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • What action have you taken to become a more eco-friendly business?
  • What have you done to educate yourselves, staff and customers about the latest sustainability practices?
  • What evidence can you provide to show that your sustainability efforts are bringing benefits to both your business and/or the environment?

Symbol Store of the Year

Judging Criteria

Running a symbol store is an exciting and rewarding opportunity, with agreed standards to implement as a manager while retaining individual ownership or accountability for the store.

This award is split into two categories:
Single store operator
Multiple stores operator

Barr Logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • What have you done to ensure you consistently meet the standards expected by the symbol group, including staff training?
  • How do you use new technology and promotions to target convenience/top-up shopper missions?
  • What marketing and communication activity do you carry out to make sure your offering is tailored to suit local needs?

Best New Store of the Year

Judging Criteria

This award recognises the best new-build c-stores (including transformations of buildings previously used for other purposes) and the best major refurbishments that have changed all or most of an existing store and have introduced new fixtures and equipment. Scottish c-stores that opened or relaunched between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023 are eligible to enter.

scottish grocer logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • How did you work effectively with others over the planning, project management and design of the new store?
  • What were your original goals and targets in terms of providing an enhanced shopping experience and ensuring an efficient, effective store set-up?
  • What fresh ideas have you introduced that makes your new store stand out from its more established competitors?

Bread and Bakery Retailer of the Year

Judging Criteria

Bread and bakery is a category that has been rising in popularity and diversity in recent years – with the need to cater to a variety of consumer demands, such as a desire for healthy options as well as indulgent treats. This award will be presented to a retailer who uses their loaf to create an outstanding bread and bakery section to tempt shoppers.

Hovis logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • What makes your range and bakery section stand out and meet customer needs?
  • Do you offer any specialist products in your bakery section that would set you apart from your competitors?
  • What do you do in store to alert shoppers to the presence of your bread and bakery offering and related promotions?

Industry Achievement Award

Judging Criteria

This is an award for an individual who has made his or her mark on Scotland’s independent trade, for the benefit of all. With Scotland’s convenience retailing trade constantly evolving to rise to new challenges, the most important influences on the sector are the people who play their part in it – as owners and entrepreneurs, managers and educators, activists and innovators.

republic technologies logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • Explain how you have achieved substantial commercial success in the wider business world through exceptional vision and business understanding.
  • Give us evidence of how you have provided valuable insight and growth throughout the industry and have demonstrated outstanding commitment to relationships with others in the convenience sector.
  • What innovative approach have you taken that has either radically changed an established practice, or introduced a new practice, for the benefit of the industry as a whole?

Independent Retailer of the Year

Judging Criteria

Many independent retailers now work in conjunction with symbol groups, food-to-go brands, fuel companies and more. For this award, we view an independent retailer as a business such as a c-store or forecourt store – operating up to three stores – where the owner is directly involved in the day-to-day operation and management of the store(s) and is, ultimately, the main decision maker. The store(s) may operate under their own name or under a symbol or fascia.

Booker Group logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • How have you developed your store and service in recent years to face up to your rivals?
  • What do you do to develop and train your staff and so create employee loyalty?
  • What community activities are you involved in and how do you get your message across to the local community?

Community Retailer of the Year

Judging Criteria

Scottish Grocer is looking for a retail business that can clearly demonstrate how it engages with, empowers and supports its community, making an especially strong and effective contribution to its local area.

scottish grocer logo
Entrants will be asked the following:
  • How have you supported or participated in local activities, projects and groups, particularly in areas such as wellbeing, social cohesion, culture and the environment?
  • How have you introduced your local community to wider industry programmes from which they can benefit (such as the Healthy Living Programme)?
  • Can you provide examples of how you have given time, expertise and advice to community projects and activities?