The Good Retail Awards 2020 proved to be a huge success, celebrating retailers that had made a positive impact in their industry across a number of categories. The awards ceremony took place on Spring Fair’s Inspiring Retail Stage, following on from Mary Portas in February 2020.
The awards focused on those leading the way in the industry with positive innovations that benefit both retailers and their customers. The quality of entries was high, with many showcasing original and pioneering ideas which weren’t necessarily reliant on significant financial investment, yet made a significant difference to the retail experience.
With a vast number of impressive entries, the judging panel had their work cut out for them. Made up of industry experts and representatives from both Modern Retail and Spring Fair, the judges were Catherine Erdly of Future Retail Consulting, Naeem Arif of the Midlands Retail Forum and NA Consulting Ltd, Julie Driscoll, UK Regional Director of Hyve Group PLC, Spring Fair’s parent company, and Rob Gamage, Managing Editor of Modern Retail.
The winners of the Good Retail Awards 2020 were as follows:
Instore Creativity Award – Ironbridge Candle Company
Ironbridge Candle Company is an interactive and customer-led design and shopping experience. Looking to involve customers more in the production process of products, the Ironbridge Candle Company offers a unique experience which truly immerses customers.
From custom-made to tailored products, customers can become involved in the creation of their candle, watching it being created and learning more about each and every product. Customers can enjoy consultation processes, choosing new scents and products in the store’s stand-out ‘coffee shop design’. With one side being the sales area, the other promotes interaction and interactivity, enabling them to see and learn about their products’ journey from sourcing to gifting. The design of the shop has increased footfall and online orders, with the refill service proving to be a best-seller. Ironbridge Candle Company continues to wow customers, giving them the opportunity to design their own bespoke products from a spectrum of scents and containers, pairing them up according to their own tastes.
Rob said: “Experiential, artisan and sustainable. Encouraging customers to be involved in the production process clearly works well!”
Community Award – The Old Moat Garden Centre & Cafe
The Old Moat Garden Centre & Café is part of Richmond Fellowship. It is a work-based program for local people living with mental health challenges, giving them the confidence and skills to get back into employment.
Helping people move on to the next step in their recovery, everyone is welcomed into the garden centre, café and shop, making a difference to people’s lives in an organisation which sees itself as a wellbeing service first and a garden centre second. Someone they supported explained, “It’s like a community here, everyone knows each other. I’ve had a lot of fun and it’s really helped me out.” The Old Moat Garden Centre and Café reinvests its profit into the wellbeing service and has also introduced fundraising events. Within a year, they have developed a reputation for various genres of live music to quiz nights, dog shows and stand-up comedy nights. Life is never dull at The Old Moat!
Rob said: “This is an ongoing project, which clearly has a lasting impact in the local community.”
Retail District Award – Greenwich Market
Greenwich Market is a uniquely vibrant shopping district which showcases the work and offerings of market traders and local independent shops. Providing a unique shopping experience to visitors and locals, retailers within Greenwich Market have felt they are valued members of the local community, with huge amounts of support and fantastic initiatives to grow business.
Creating ‘My Greenwich Experience’, Greenwich Market creates advertising and social media campaigns to grow awareness of the retailers, promoting the message that local shopping rewards local talent. The Greenwich Market website showcases all traders and shops, with retailers being able to update their own page. This means that smaller businesses who cannot afford their own websites are also able to have an online presence, with the site reaching 24,257 hits in December 2019. Alongside what’s on calendars, active social media accounts, a new Christmas lighting scheme and promotion of the vibrant mix of retailers, Greenwich Market continues to support local business, helping to keep Greenwich’s shop occupancy 5% higher than the national average.
Catherine said: “Greenwich really highlights how communities can create destinations and support their retailers. The numbers speak for themselves – as well as enjoying several world class attractions, Greenwich has proven that they are equally a destination for the market and independent traders as well.”
Bricks ‘n’ Clicks Award – Harts of Stur
Harts of Stur have combined their use of online and offline channels to communicate a consistent theme and message which has excited new and existing customers. Celebrating 100 years as a family business in 2019, Harts of Stur created an omnichannel campaign which would tell their brand story, through three 100 day food-based themes; breakfast – the beginning, barbecues – entering retail and roast dinners – the eCommerce era.
Running instore themed events as well as creating inspirational tips, themed blogs, carefully curated products and centenary offers, customers online and offline were truly captivated. An example of their large presence was Harts of Stur being headline sponsor of their town’s international Boogie Woogie Festival, where they cooked 500 free Centenary burgers. Initiatives which have proven a success include free Centenary wooden spoons with online and instore purchases, introducing tablets instore for customers to browse online if they prefer, email, social media, local and national advertising campaigns. In addition to this, customers were sent a copy of Harts of Stur’s award-winning magazine, ‘Kitchen’, which also included advertising around the project.
Rob said: “This is a real combination of online and offline channels. There are some original marketing ideas and a genuine effort to give value to customers through the likes of online recipes and instore events.”
Digital Impact Award – Cuparnow
CuparNow is the UK’s first Digital Improvement District, creating new strategic collaborations, improving digital participation and skills and helping to demonstrate scalable best practice for digital deployment in towns.
Establishing key digital platforms such as a blog, social media, and installing free public realm Wi-Fi, CuparNow are working to create an inclusive service for those using the town centre. Through service management and content creation, as well as capturing data and sharing key analytics with partners, CuparNow have created an engaged audience of more than 10,000, in a town with a population of only 9,000. CuparNow is engaging with multiple audiences, helping community groups to better engage on digital channels, meaning everybody from teenagers to retirees can benefit. CuparNow has made a real difference, helping many retailers run pop-up shops, progress from temporary to full-time lets, and helping existing companies to expand.
Naeem said: “CuparNow has shown a consistent level of results and in terms of digital impact, consistency over time is important.”
Sustainability Initiative Award – Wild About Flowers
Wild About Flowers set out to make the necessary steps needed to offer a complete range of fresh floral gift products which could be delivered or collected. The aim of this was to ensure this process was free of single use plastics and plastic packaging, becoming an eco-friendly, sustainable business that is environmentally conscious.
Wild About Flowers spent significant time researching alternative solutions for non-sustainable products in the market. They faced the challenge of making sure their costs did not increase in order to develop more sustainable packaging. They dramatically reduced the amount of plastic used in their business, saving almost a tonne of plastic every year by eliminating cellophane floral wrapping and all single use plastics. Other initiatives include encouraging customers to re-use and recycle, as well as working closely with local suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint further. Wild About Flowers then launched an online flower and gift shop on their website.
Catherine said: “Wild About Flowers are doing important work in highlighting the use of single-use plastics in floristry. They have clearly spent a lot of time and effort working through how to achieve their goal.”
Congratulations to everybody who was shortlisted for the Good Retail Awards 2020, and a huge thank you to everybody who entered. For the latest information on the Good Retail Awards, click here.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.