The Independent Achievers Academy announced the final shortlist of 17 retailers earlier this week at a special event within betterRetailing LIVE in Manchester.

The shortlist was reached following a two month judging process and the independent retailers will be recognised in 12 categories in London on 26 November, with one store emerging as the overall champions.

Speaking after the announcement at betterRetailing LIVE, Dee Sedani (pictured above) of One Stop Matlock said: “Making the final shortlist in three categories is an amazing achievement. This reflects on the great work that my staff do in providing a great local shop for our community.”

Mr Sedani, who was visiting betterRetailing LIVE to find new ideas to take back to his business, said the IAA process had helped his store improve already and progressing further would be a fantastic outcome for his customers.

“We were impressed to see how many independent retailers are innovating and finding new ways to constantly improve their offer for their shoppers,” said Stefan Appleby, editor of Retail Express and co-chair of the industry judging panel that finalised the shortlist.

“The brilliant business skills of the men and women in our shortlist, combined with the evidence we have gathered from their shops, prove that the Academy’s toolkit of ideas help retailers develop new ways to grow their profits and improve the sector overall,” he added.

Retail entrepreneur and best-selling author Jeff Pearce will announce the winning local stores across the 12 categories, and the overall top shop, at the prestigious IAA Gala Dinner in London on 26 November.

Click here to see the list of finalists
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