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bira conference and awards 2018, speakers, independent retail, retail future

bira Conference & Awards 2018

Date: Thu 10 May

Time: 9.00

Venue(s): Jurys Inn, Watling St, Burbage, Hinckley LE10 3JA

How do independent retailers future-proof their business?

Introducing the bira Conference and Awards 2018; a platform for forward-thinking business education and celebration for the independent retail industry. The unmissable event for independent retailers.


It's time to shine

The bira awards recognise and reward the very best in our industry, showcasing the talent, hard work, innovation and achievements of bira members.

Click on the name of each of the award categories below to view the full description and award winners.

Award categories

Independent retail business of the year award 2018 winners

This award highlights business owners that are looking to celebrate the achievements of their business as a whole and what has made their shop stand out from others on the high street.

Award winners

Winner (Gold) – Aspire Style
Silver – Wild Oats
Bronze – Potters Cookshop
Highly Commended – Two Ducks
Highly Commended – Velvet Exclusive Ladieswear

Independent team of the year award 2018 winners

This award highlights business owners that are looking to celebrate the achievements of their business as a whole and what has made their shop stand out from others on the high street.

Award winners

Gold – Roobarb
Silver – Westgate Tyres
Bronze – Manton Cards

Charitable champion award 2018 winners

This award is for those who sacrifice time, money and support for a cause close to their heart. It recognises those who are the driving force behind international causes or projects and pave the way for a better future in the retail industry and beyond.

Award winners

Winner – Bunns cakes & Bakes Ltd
Winner – Connect Distribution
Winner – Roobarb
Winner (International)- J R Handsford Ltd

Retail employee of the year award 2018 winner

So much of the time, it’s the efforts of specific individuals that drive change to achieve new things and to make a difference within a business. This award recognises anyone from managers to members of the sales team.

Award winner

Sophie Bass from JSJ Projects – Sugar and Ice

Local hero award 2018 winner

This award is for those that work hard not only for their business but for their local community too. We know that local support can make a big difference to independent retail so this award gives something back to those individuals that give extra time and effort to keep the surrounding society thriving.

Award winner

Chris Patterson from Pattersons

Expansion of the Year award 2018 winner
Award winner

Vin Vara from The Tool Shop Group

bira direct awards 2018 winners

Best support for independents – Stax Trade Centres

Supplier of the year (Hardware) – Supreme Imports

Supplier of the year (Cookshop) – EPE International


Lead, innovate, achieve

All entrepreneurs need a break from their work to sharpen their skills. Choose from 12+ interactive workshops and keynote speeches, hear different stories and drop in on a variety of talks provided by experts speakers in the industry.

Explore the most current retailing trends, changing consumer behaviour, and learn how to broaden your businesses digital mix, through engaging breakout sessions provided by the leading experts, who have put these tangible tips to practice.

Help your business to stay ahead of the curb with the unmissable advice from knowledgeable speakers.

Speaker, Levi Roots, bira Conference and Awards 2018

Levi Roots

Keynote Speaker for the bira Conference and Awards 2018, Levi Roots will be delivering his inspirational business story, providing insights into how he became one of the most iconic and characteristics figures in the UK business world. From a Rastafarian musician to a highly successful businessman, he has grown his Levi Roots brand to unimaginable heights since his appearance on Dragon's Den back in 2006. Learn more about his 'Recipe for business success' at the bira Conference and Awards 2018.
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Hardeep Singh-Kohli, Conference host, bira conference and awards 2018

Hardeep Singh-Kohli

Hardeep Singh-Kohli is a Glaswegian entrepreneur, responsible for one of the most successful Indian restaurant chains in the city, and an award-winning stand-up comedian. Equally as comfortable in the kitchen as on stage, Hardeep will be introducing speakers and keeping us on track for the day as Conference host.
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bira speaker, Chris Fowler, bira conference and awards 2018

Chris Fowler

Since joining LDC Chris has focused on helping local authorities and Business Improvement Districts to better understand the latest market dynamics within their areas and monitor vitality. By deploying a network of ‘smartstreetsensors’ across over 80 town centres, LDC is building up a picture of how pavement footfall trends relate to the retail mix on our high streets. This insight is being used to better manage places, target new investment and ultimately make town centres more successful.
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Danny Crowe, Speaker, Marketing, bira Conference and Awards 2018

Danny Crowe

Danny Crowe, Marketing Specialist and Speaker at the bira Conference and Awards 2018 will a focus on the customer and their journey through a brand. He has worked with numerous brands in the last 35 years, as the client, the agency and a consultant.
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Hugo Jenkins, Experiential retailing, bira Conference and Awards 2018

Hugo Jenkins

Breakout Session Speaker and Commercial Director of Trouva, Hugo Jenkins will guide attendees through how to utilise 'Experiential retailing' in the independent business sector at this years bira Conference. Customers nowadays want experiences, not transactions. Hugo explains how embracing technology in a smart way can help independent retailers to engage with their customers.
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cyber crime, Speaker, Luay Alfaham, bira Conference and Awards 2018

Luay Alfaham

Luay is a communications specialist for the Home Office, where he has managed Government strategic internal and external campaigns over the last six years. Luay’s main focus is to equip small businesses and independent retailers with the tools to protect themselves against the increasing threat of cyber crime - a topic that will be explored in great detail at the bira Conference 2018 in Luay's Breakout Session.
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Nick Fisher of Facewatch, Payments panel at bira Conference and Awards 2018, British Independent Retailers Association

Nick Fisher

Nick is now CEO of Facewatch, a secure cloud-based platform that uses Facial Recognition technology to proactively deter and protect businesses against low-level crime. Nick will navigate attendees through the topic of preventative 'self-help' to tackle shop theft, in his breakout session 'Commoditizing Facial Recognition for Retail'.
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Paddy moogan, beat the big brands, bira conference and awards 2018, British Independent Retailers Association

Paddy Moogan

Paddy is co-founder of Aira, a digital marketing agency based in Milton Keynes specialising in SEO, PPC and content-driven digital PR. Paddy will provide practical tips on how independent retailers can beat the big brands online in his Breakout Session at this years bira Conference.
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#WDYT, Speaker, Polly Barnfield, bira conference and awards 2018

Polly Barnfield

bira Conference Breakout Session Speaker and Founder and CEO of Maybe* and the #WDYT Campaign, Polly Barnfield OBE, will demonstrate how simple digital actions can have a significant impact on bricks and mortar retailers. Maybe* is a platform that eliminates the gap between how shoppers want to shop and how retailers are able to connect with them. The #WDYT, What do you Think, campaign to help towns and places increase their digital influence to drive physical and digital footfall to the High Street. Polly was also the Founder of Everyclick whose innovative fundraising platforms have raised over £8.5m for a wide range of charities.
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Reverend Richard Coles, Speaker, bira Conference and Awards 2018

Reverand Richard Coles

Speaker at the bira Conference and Awards 2018: Reverend Richard Coles is a broadcaster, writer and Church of England priest best known for having being in The Communards. They enjoyed three UK Top 10 hits, including the biggest-selling single of 1986: Don’t Leave Me This Way. The multi-talented Richard turned his hand to acting, penned music for film and TV, served up advice as ‘agony uncle’ on BBC London and won a Sony Gold as presenter of The Mix on Radio 5 Live.
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bira speaker, Stewart Muir, bira conference and awards 2018

Stewart Muir

Stewart Muir is a Project Manager at the Energy Saving Trust, an organisation with over 25 years’ experience in helping consumers and businesses reduce their energy consumption. The bira Conference will see Stewart shine a light on what's important to retailers when it comes to lighting and how installations could make or break a sale in his breakout session: Next Generation Lighting for The High Street.
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Vend vaughan rowsell

Vaughan Rowsell

Vaughan, Vend Founder and breakout session speaker will cover Vend’s top Retail Trends and Predictions for 2018. If you’ve ever asked the question, ‘What’s next for the retail industry?’ this session is for you. Vaughan will discuss trends and issues that he thinks will make the biggest impact on independent retail in the very near future.
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Payments panel

The future of payments

Retailers need to consider further ways they can reach out and capture their audience by offering more convenient and quicker ways to purchase items. The payments panel will explore some key trends in the payment industry in the UK and what this may look like in the future with some of the UK leading experts in the field.

Technology has opened the door to a new age of purchasing and has altered the payment path for transactions. Frictionless payment plays a key component in today’s shopping experience. We have seen contactless payment, including mobile payment such as Apple Pay, grow drastically as the need for convenience and ease from consumers remains a dominating factor in retailing today.

DASH is delighted to be sponsoring the Future of Payments Panel at the bira conference 2018. DASH is a leading e-commerce and payments-focused digital currency. Dash is digital cash.  With instant transactions and low costs it offers an exciting alternative payment system.

Dash digital, bira conference and awards 2018

Vendorcom founder Paul Rodgers, payments panel speaker, bira conference and awards, British Independent Retailers Association

Paul Rodgers

Paul is passionate about the payments industry and the benefits to be gained by driving innovation through collaboration. Paul is recognised for his broad perspective on industry matters as well as his independence, and will showcase his knowledge of the increasingly complex changes affecting both merchants and suppliers on the payment panel at this years bira conference and awards.
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Janne Karppinen, bira conference and awards 2018 speaker, payments panel guest

Janne Karppinen

Janne Karppinen leads the Merchant Development team UK & Ireland for Mastercard, based in London. He brings with him over 19 years’ of experience within the Data Consulting, Retail and Sales worlds to this years bira conference payments panel.
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Luke Flomo, Head of eCommerce at Trustly, bira Conference and Awards payments panel guest

Luke Flomo

Luke Flomo is Head of eCommerce at Trustly and a payments expert, who has previously worked closely with household retail brands such as ASOS, Footlocker, Boohoo, Missguided. Luke will join the conversation and offer advice on the bira conference payments panel, bringing a wealth of knowledge with his 12 years of experience in the industry.
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Nick Dryden founder of Sthaler, Payments panel bira Conference and Awards 2017, British Independent Retailers Association

Nick Dryden

Nick Dryden founded Sthaler to create a new way to pay and achieved a million-strong social network of music fans whilst working alongside brands like MasterCard. Now Nick’s biometric innovations are disrupting the classic payment and ID model. Nick will answer attendees burning questions on the payments panel at the bira conference and awards.
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Nicoli Prencipe, payments panel guest, bira, British Independent Retailers Association, bira conference and awards 2018

Nicoli Prencipe

Nicoli Prencipe is managing director of McLEAR, a British-Japanese fintech firm in strategic alliance with Visa and global financial institutions. Nicoli will be joining the bira conference as a guest on this year's payments panel.
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Pete Bettle, bira conference and awards 2018 speaker, payments panel guest

Pete Bettles

Previously Peter Bettles has undertaken a variety of roles within the Card Payments business and also worked within HSBC’s retail and business banking sectors from 1985. We are delighted to have Peter join us as a guest on the bira conference payments panel.
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A ladder of opportunities

With thanks to our event sponsors for showcasing their commitment to encouraging the independent retail sector.
View all event sponsors