There are 10 winners’ trophies travelling home from London today (22 September), all won by SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVOXTRA retailers in Northern Ireland as a celebration of their resilience at the recent Retail Industry Award.

The national awards ceremony is held in the highest regards by the industry across the UK, and local retailers in Northern Ireland took home some of the biggest accolades of the night including Store Team of the Year, Forecourt Retailer of the Year and Independent Retailer of the Year.

This year’s ceremony was back in full force for 2021, and shone a light on the fortitude of the sector and how retailers responded in strength and community spirit to the impact of COVID-19.

Henderson Retail brought home four wins throughout the company-owned categories, plus four highly commended nods. SPAR Malone Road was victorious in both the Forecourt Retailer of the Year and Store Team of the Year categories, with EUROSPAR Victoria Road in Carrickfergus picking up Post Office Retailer of the Year while Nigel Walker was presented with the Store Manager of the Year award for his work at EUROSPAR Hardford Link in Newtownards.

For the independents, Team Mulkerns brought home another hat-trick, fresh off their previous three wins at the Convenience Awards earlier this month. The Newry-based EUROSPAR continued their winning streak at the Retail Industry Awards, picking up Best Use of Technology, Food-to-Go Retailer of the Year and Store Team of the Year.

Other independent successes included Lynch’s EUROSPAR in Derry/Londonderry for Independent Retailer of the Year, Campbell’s EUROSPAR, Banbridge for Chilled Retailer of the Year and JC Stewart in Magherafelt for Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year.

Four highly commended nods were received by the independent retailers with Lynch’s recognised in the Chilled Retailer of the Year category, both JD Hunter’s and Morrison’s VIVOXTRA in Saintfield shared the highly commended crown for Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year and Chris McClure of JD Hunter’s took home the highly commended Store Manager of the Year award.

Mark McCammond, Retail Director at Henderson Group says the wins show great resilience from their network of stores in the past year in particular; “Never has local retailing been more important than when our stores were trusted to provide not only safe places for shoppers to get their essentials during lockdown, but also ensure shelves were stocked.

“Our Henderson Retail stores have worked incredibly hard to provide a benchmark for safety, value and choice for shoppers and the judges have recognised the lengths we’ve gone to, to provide essential products and services from our forecourts to our post offices. Congratulations to all the winners from this prestigious ceremony.”

Paddy Doody, Sales and Marketing Director at Henderson Group added; “Our independent retailers have once again swept the board at a national, UK-wide awards ceremony, pushing the standards of independent retailing even higher. These retailers have had a very challenging 18-months, and none have shown greater support to their communities – as evidenced in picking up both company owned and independent awards for Store Team of the Year.

“Awards like these are not just for the glory, but put retail excellence on the map – and that pin is very firmly in Northern Ireland. Congratulations to all the winners and highly commended teams and stores.”

The Retail Industry Award winners were selected by a panel of esteemed and experienced names in the industry. The Awards, now in their 26th year are a celebration of all that is great about the UK grocery retail sector. The 2021 winners were revealed at a gala ball ceremony at the Brewery in London on 21 September 2021. A full list of winners can be found here.