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The new name for Shop Spec

Leading figures in British retail to judge the industry's success stories at Retail Week Awards 2020

12th March 2020, Grosvenor House, London

Representatives from some of the country’s leading retailers will be looking for contribution to society, responsible retailing and outstanding value amongst other attributes at this year’s Retail Week Awards on 12th March 2020 at Grosvenor House, London.

Nick Beighton (CEO, ASOS), Will Kernan (CEO, River Island), John Roberts (Founder, AO.com), Mary Homer (CEO, The White Company) and Debbie Hewitt (Non-Executive Chairman, The White Stuff, Visa Europe, BGL and The Restaurant Group) are among 21 judges challenged with choosing 18 worthy category winners. The annual event, held at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House on Park Lane is set to see established household names compete to win alongside fresh new disruptors in a night that celebrates the best of retail.

New to the categories this year is the hotly contested Cognizant Responsible Retailer Award, an award given for outstanding contribution to the communities in which it operates, or an initiative or campaign which is making a positive impact in the wider world. The impressive shortlist includes; Aldi for its Neighbourly Partnership, Iceland Foods for its ‘Doing it Right’ campaign, Tesco’s Community Food Connection and H&M’s partnership with the British Red Cross.

At a time when the challenges of retail are barely off the front pages, judges will be looking to reward those who continue to diversify, adapt and thrive in an increasingly complex market.

“Britain’s retailers are facing unprecedented structural change. Many are responding to these challenges with stunning innovation: great products, brilliant service ideas and spectacular new stores. The Retail Week Awards celebrates the very best of one of our most important and creative industries,” said Judge Alan Giles, chair of the advisory board of the Oxford Institute for Retail Management, Saïd Business School.

The ‘pride of British retail’ returns to London with another new category for 2020, The Hermes Customer Experience - Game Changer award. This award recognises the retailer that is leading the way in delivering outstanding customer experience, be it technology, or a solution or service that delights and excites the customer.

Judge Debbie Hewitt MBE stressed the importance of recognising success across the entire retail sector.

“It’s a real privilege to be asked to be a judge for the Retail Week Awards. It’s a great reminder that there is excellence across every aspect of our industry, from young entrepreneurial start-ups to long established businesses that continue to reinvent themselves to stay relevant to their customers. There is so much to learn from those who genuinely put the customer at the heart of their businesses.”

Once again there will be the AlixPartners Outstanding Contribution to Retail award, which last year was won by Richer Sounds Founder Julian Richer for his revolutionary, staff-centric approach to retail that’s enabled his own business to thrive and helped transform some of the biggest names in the industry.

Speaking ahead of this year’s awards Poppie Mickleburgh, Retail Week Awards Event Director said: “The retail landscape is changing more rapidly than ever before. Retailers are constantly being challenged by not only the evolution of technology but by increasing consumer awareness, the need to reduce pressure on the environment and show efforts towards sustainability, and all of course whilst trying to run a profitable venture. Despite the disruption we still see entrepreneurs rising in retail whilst others adapt to new challenges and diversify. It’s for these reasons we must celebrate the tenacity of those who continue to make waves and it’s at the Retail Week Awards where we congratulate the very people keeping the wheels of this troubled industry moving forward.”

The judges at the Retail Week Awards 2020, sponsored by Salesforce, are listed here

A full list of categories with shortlisted entrants can be found here

Retail Week Awards