iaaWithout a doubt, this year hasn’t been easy for independent retailers, but last night, my attendance at Newtrade Publishing’s Independent Achievers Academy awards, which rewards independents who strive to improve their businesses and be the best, proved just how hard they are working to overcome the hurdles put in their way.

One of the finalists I spoke to said she combats the lack of information she gets for products in her store by actively devouring all the information trade press magazines offer to give her customers the best service she can. She has invested and continues to invest a huge sum of money into new ventures, making her shop wheelchair-friendly and servicing her community.

This determination is representative of every retailer who was shortlisted in the 12 categories at the awards.

Not only was it hugely encouraging to see the work of those who won recognised, but it was even more encouraging to see just how it motivated those who failed to win their category vow to improve their stores further and come back next year even stronger.