This award celebrates the best and brightest independent retailers: operators who have adapted and evolved their offers in a fast-changing and highly competitive market and maximised both local and national opportunities
Winner: Henderson Retail
As retailers battled to keep shelves stocked over multiple lockdowns, perhaps the most impressive of the numerous KPIs Henderson Retail smashed was securing an average 98% availability in 2020.
That’s thanks to Henderson developing new warehousing facilities to more than double its capacity. The work, completed in February last year, enabled the retailer to offer same-day delivery options on fresh and ambient foods.
These efforts to shore up its supply didn’t go unnoticed. Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s began sourcing products from Henderson in a bid to plug gaps in its Northern Irish supply chain, which had been created by Brexit red tape.
Amid soaring growth Henderson Retail also introduced new ranges, reduced food waste, launched a new online colleague engagement hub and opened its 36th Eurospar.
Frozen food specialist Cook overhauled its model in the wake of Covid. Local delivery took priority, as online sales grew from £1m to £9m, now representing 60% of the business. Still Cook has remained true to its community ethos, launching a Kindness Fund to help charities, community groups and hospitals.
LA Foods started in 1990 as a small London store run by the Hussain couple. These days it comprises 12 stores and employs over 100 people. The company has stayed relevant by identifying crucial trends for health-conscious and eco-friendly products, and its annual 5% growth target was exceeded in 2020.
Grocer Gold Awards 2021: the winners
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Grocer Gold Awards 2021: Independent Retail Chain of the Year