The UK’s top convenience retailers were announced last night at the Independent Achievers Academy (IAA) Gala Dinner in Canary Wharf, London.  

The event follows nine months of benchmarking, secret shopping, interviews and store visits to compare and offer tailored advice to the 390 stores that took part.

Head of the IAA Samantha Gunston told RN: “The IAA is proven to make the stores that take part more profitable, and this year was no exception. The rising standards we’ve seen in 2018 are testament to the hard work, innovation and dedication of store owners. There’s much we can all learn from the newly announced star of each of the 13 categories.”

Overall Best Shop was awarded to Mo Razzaq from Family Shopper Blantyre. The store owner was highlighted for exceptional use of an integrated marketing, sales and research technology, his commitment to the local community, and innovative store features such as seated areas with in-store video displays that mix advertising and entertainment. He was also the Category Star for Digital Engagement, in association with PayPoint.

Scott Graham of McLeish Inverurie in Aberdeen was named Category Star of Effective Ranging, in association with Coca-Cola European Partners, and Marketing to Customers, in association with Camelot.

Terry Mulkerns from Mulkerns Eurospar in Newry, Northern Ireland, also achieved two Category Star titles: In-Store Display, in association with Mondelez International, and Staff Development, in association with P&G.