Northern Ireland’s SPAR and EUROSPAR retailers have brought home a sweep of awards from the prestigious Retail Industry Awards, which took place in London earlier this week (Tuesday 19th September).

Henderson Retail, which operates over 100 SPAR and EUROSPAR stores brought home seven awards including Community Retailer of the Year, Forecourt Retailer of the Year and Convenience Retailer of the Year (Regional).

Their company owned stores also received Store Team of the Year (EUROSPAR Doagh), Post Office Retailer of the Year (SPAR Mallusk), Forecourt Retailer of the Year (EUROSPAR Hillcrest, Portrush) and Samuel McCann from SPAR Malone Road took the Store Manager of the Year award for the second year in a row.

“Community retailing is in the DNA of this Spar retailer and they deliver for – and with – the local people, year after year,” said a judge. “A very strong retail proposition and an impressive financial performance,” said another, adding “the investment into stores is clearly having an impact, with a striking improvement in availability and notable margin gains from electronic shelf-edge labels.”

A final judges comment read; “Hendersons are clearly a stand-out multi-site operator. The company does not stand still and is always looking to develop in all fields. It’s a fantastic success story.”

Independent stores were also victorious on the night with Derry’s Lynch’s EUROSPAR triumphing in both the Tobacco Retailer of the Year award for their Skeoge store, and Chilled Retailer of the Year for their Greysteel store.

EUROSPAR Creightons of Balmoral in South Belfast won the Independent Retailer of the Year award (3,001 – 6,000 sq. ft.) while Hamilton’s SPAR, Castlederg took the prestigious Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year award.

In all, 11 awards were brought home from London, with an additional four Highly Commended accolades for Henderson Retail and their stores, and a further four Highly Commended nods for independent stores Creightons of Balmoral, Lynch’s and Smyth’s EUROSPAR, Ballymoney.

SPAR UK, of which there are now over 300 stores in Northern Ireland, also won Symbol / Franchise Group of the Year.

Mark McCammond, Retail Director at Henderson Group commented; “The standard of retailing gets higher every year, and we are incredibly proud to be reaching the standards expected of a world class retailer for our operations in Northern Ireland. Participating in awards like the Retail Industry Awards, which are so respected throughout the trade, give us that extra boost to do better for our staff, our shoppers and our local communities within the stores we operate.

“We are particularly proud of our store awards, with Samuel McCann bringing home Store Manager of the Year for another year, and EUROSPAR Doagh also triumphing with the Store Team of the Year trophy. Not even a year after opening, SPAR Mallusk has also won Post Office Retailer of the Year, which goes to show the level of services under one roof at the flagship store for Henderson Retail.”

Paddy Doody, Sales and Marketing Director at Henderson Group added; “Once again, our independent retailers have shown how much our region excels. In the past year, we have worked with our independent stores to adapt even more to their shopper needs, celebrated countless long-term partnerships and invested alongside them to create community hubs which service their communities and bring value on their doorsteps when they need it most.

“Congratulations to all this year’s winners and highly commended retailers, it has been a fantastic year for SPAR, EUROSPAR and Henderson Group.”

The Retail Industry Award winners were selected by a panel of esteemed and experienced names in the industry. The Awards, now in their 27th year are a celebration of all that is great about the UK grocery retail sector. The 2023 winners were revealed at a gala ball ceremony at the Brewery in London on 19 September 2023. A full list of winners can be found here.