Somerfield's decision to sell its symbol group operation in Scotland was left looking all the more bizarre last night after the Aberness business swept the board at an industry awards dinner.

The CTP awards dinner organised by consultants Him recognise excellence in convenience retailing.

And the Aberness business won top prize - best overall retailer as voted for by shoppers - as well as awards for best symbol group, most friendly staff and fastest service.

The awards were good news for Palmer & Harvey McLane, which bought the Aberness business on Friday. It was also voted the best distributor by retailers and suppliers.

Sainsbury too had plenty to cheer about. Its Local business won two awards and its Bells subsidiary scooped three awards while its Jacksons business picked up the award for best retailer as voted for by suppliers.

The inaugral award for best cash and carry was won by Parfetts.