Major wholesalers and suppliers attending the sold-out annual dinner and awards night of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors will see the second annual presentation of the FWD Gold Medal for the MSYS Retailer of the Year.
But they will be unaware of the closeness of the judging between four top independents nominated by top wholesalers for the award – one of a series of presentations at the Caf eacute; Royal on November 27.
Points are awarded on the basis of the depth of commitment by the retailer to the local community and his or her interface with local customers, the principles on which the My Shop is Your Shop campaign is based.
The 2007 MSYS Gold Medal winners were Dennis and Linda Williams, Booker Premier retailers and owners of the Broadway stores in Edinburgh. Their levels of community retailing set an extremely high standard.
Later this month, the Caf eacute; Royal audience will see the Gold Medal awarded to one of these four finalists:
1 Steve Robinson, of Best-One, Streatham Hill, south London (Bestway);
2 John Mainwood, of the Premier Store and Post Office, Seddlescombe. West Sussex (Booker);
3 Geeta and Charanjit Doal, Doal’s Lifestyle Express, Wheaton Aston, Stafford (Landmark);
4 Raj Aggarwal, Londis, Wigston, Leicester (Musgrave).
Steve Robinson hit the headlines in National Independents’ Week when his store was visited by Heinz chief John Hans. He was supported by his local MP during NIW and works with the local residents’ association liaising with local police and councillors.
John Mainwood’s customer service and relationship skills makes his store an irreplaceable community focal point.
Geeta and Charanjit Doal won points because they know every customer by their first name and open over 100 hours a week.
Raj Aggarwal is the chairman of the Foxes Retailer Forum, the group of independent retailers involved in the football coaching scheme for youngsters linked to Leicester City FC.
Alan Toft, MSYS chairman, told ProWholesaler: “It is only something very special which will win the Gold for one of these fantastic retailers.”