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Independent retail talent celebrated at the bira conference and awards

The very best independent retail talent celebrated at bira’s national conference and awards

The British Independent Retailers Association’s (bira) national conference and gala awards dinner took place at the Jurys Inn, Hinckley Island, Leicestershire on Thursday 10th May 2018. The annual event showcases the very best of the independent retail industry, as well as those businesses that support the sector.

With the future at its heart, the conference and awards attracted the most forward-thinking speakers, independent retailers, their teams and employees. The jam-packed day programme was rounded off with a glittering awards ceremony compered by Reverend Richard Coles, from The Communards. The bira awards celebrate the talent, hard work, innovation and achievements of bira members and their shining successes as retailers in the UK.

Alan Hawkins, bira CEO said: “We’ve just returned from the 2018 bira conference and awards and what a truly special night. Not only was it my last as CEO, but the talent in our industry never fails to impress and amaze me. Members are doing incredible things for retail but also for their local communities and charities. Congratulations to all of our very deserving winners and runner ups, you really deserve the accolades.”  

The 2018 bira award winners

bira direct – Supplier of the year – Hardware, Garden, DIY & Pet

Supreme Imports

Supreme Imports


bira direct – Supplier of the year – Cookshop, Housewares, Tabletop & Gift

EPE International

 EPE International

bira direct – Overall best support package for independent retail award

Stax Trade Centres

 STAX Trade Centres

Independent retail employee of the year

Sophie Bass – Sugar & Ice

 Sophie Bass JSJ Sugar and Ice

Team of the year

Roobarb Retail

 Roobarb Retail TOTY

Retail business of the year – Winner

Aspire Style

 Aspire Style

Local Hero – Winner

Chris Patterson – Pattersons

Chris Patterson

Charitable Champion Winners

Jeff Baker – Connect Distribution Services

Diane Bunn – Bunns Cakes & Bakes (award collected by Lorna Lewis, Regional Membership Manager, bira)

Kevin Bellwood – Roobarb Retail

Matthew Hansford – Hansfords Menswear

 Charitable Champions

Expansion of the year

Vin Vara – The Toolshop Group

Vin Vara Expansion of the Year