Last night the Asian Media & Marketing Group hosted the 29th Asian Trader Awards. The event held at the Park Plaza, Westminster is one of the highlights of the year for the independent retailing industry and gathers all the key players together to recognise and reward the very best of independent retailing.

The Rt. Hon Michael Gove MP and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs addressed the room and spoke of independent retailers as “the glue that holds communities together and the cement that makes our society stronger.” He also spoke of the remarkable resilience that independent retailers have shown. He went on the praise the Solanki family who founded the Asian Media & Marketing Group and for all the work they do to champion and support independent retailing in the UK.

Rory Bremer, comedian and impressionist, was the compere for the evening and he ensured we were all entertained with his political satire and many voices as the award winners were unveiled.

As well as rewarding the very best retailers in the land, the Asian Trader Awards also recognizes the products and suppliers that have made the biggest impact in the sector. Amongst the brands picking up awards in their respective categories were: Weetabix Additions, Dairy Milk Oreo, Monster Energy, JPS Players Crushball, Gallo Wild Strawberry and Walkers Max. Suppliers including Concho Y Toro, Maxxium and Pernod Ricard were best in class for their categories. Coca Cola Enterprises won overall manufacturer of the Year. In the wholesale sector Booker, Peterborough won best depot.

After a delicious Asian banquet which did not fail to disappoint, we moved on to the main retailer awards for the evening. The winners included:

Asian Trader Retailer Champion Award  – Bruce and Donna Morgan of Brownlies Biggar
Asian Trader Bakery Retailer of the Year  – Fabio Finocchairo, Rootes Grocery Store, Coventry
Asian Trader Independent Retailer of the Year  – Justin Whittaker, MJ’s Premier Store, Royton
Asian Trader Responsible Retailer of the Year Award  – Bay Bashir, Lifestyle Express Belle Vue, Middlesbrough
Asian Trader Impulse Retailer of the Year Award  – Baz Jethwa, Spar Rocket, Bolton
Asian Trader Spirit of the Community Award – Jag Brar, Londis Culverhay Stores, Cricklade

And the winner of the overall coveted award of Asian Trader of the Year went to Kay Patel, Best One, Wanstead.

It was a fabulous evening and a real celebration of our great convenience retail industry. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. We look forward to working in partnership with our clients and independent retailers to ensure the convenience sector continues to thrive in the future.