The last year has been one like no other and the contribution of community retailers across Scotland has been one of the outstanding and life-affirming stories to come out of the pandemic. Last week Scottish Local Retailer recognised this through their 2021 awards. I thought re-blogging their story on the awards and providing a list of the winners might be a small way of highlighting again the contribution of Scotland’s Community Retailers (thanks to Antony Begley for the permission to do this).
What follows is the report from the Awards night as told by Scottish Local Retailer
Following a year like no other, Scotland’s entire community retailing sector was honoured last night at the Scottish Local Retailer of the Year Awards 2021. The local retailing sector in Scotland has shone brighter than most over the last 18 months as stores across Scotland proved to be lifelines for countless communities across Scotland.
The event saw dozens of retailers from across the country recognised and rewarded for their heroic efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping keep communities stocked with daily essentials and proving a focal point for the many customers who came to rely on them more than ever before.
Glasgow retailer Shamly Sud claimed the top award and was named Scottish Local Retailer of the Year 2021 last night. Shamly, with the help of her family, runs the Premier Racetrack business which operates a chain of stores across the city.
The judges hailed Premier Racetrack as “a uniquely innovative business that has rewritten the rule book on what a convenience store is and does”.
Shamly’s Premier Racetrack Autoport Store in Ibrox also collected the individual Forecourt Retailer of the Year, #ThinkSmart Innovation of the Year and Vaping & Nicotine Replacement of the Year awards. Her Premier Racetrack Crowwood store claimed the New Store of the Year Award.
Dundee-based wholesaler and retailer Spar Scotland was named Symbol Group of the Year after another remarkable year for a business that has been transformed under a new management team in the last few years.
Falkirk retailer Anand Cheema was named the SLR Young Retailer of the Year after opening his first store in 2020. The Spar store was fully rebuilt from the ground up and has gone on to deliver outstanding performance and is a credit to Anand and his team at Spar Falkirk. The store also received the Refit of the Year Award.
Daniel Johnson MSP was recognised at last night’s ceremony for succeeded in bringing a new law into force in Scotland that offers local retailers far greater protection from the abuse and violence that they face daily. Johnson received the Special Recognition Award and spoke at the event, hailing local retailers as “genuine key workers who play a fundamental role at the heart of every community in Scotland” and “deserve more protection under the law, particularly after their efforts and achievements during the pandemic.”
Unsung hero recognised
Also honoured last night was Angela Lindsay, a store worker from Blackadder Mini Market in Greenlaw, whose prompt actions and bravery literally helped save the life of a customer who suffered a stroke when in the store. Angela received the Unsung Hero of the Year.
SLR Publisher Antony Begley commented: “The last 18 months have been the most challenging that the local retailing sector in Scotland has ever faced but, as they always do, Scotland’s local retailers more than rose to the challenge. When supermarkets were struggling to get stock onto the shelves, local retailers demonstrated the creativity and ingenuity they are renowned for to ensure that every community across Scotland had access to the daily essentials they required. The sector has been nothing less than heroic.
“Huge congratulations to Shamly, Anand and all of our winners this evening. But the SLR Awards 2021 is really a celebration of the entire sector. Every local retailer in Scotland deserves enormous praise and recognition for the role they have played over the last 18 months. Scotland needed you – and you delivered.”
A full list of all the winners can be found here.