Winner: Tout’s

South west-based Tout’s was a clear winner in a highly competitive category that showcased the quality and variety on offer in the UK’s independent retailing sector.

Judges described Tout’s as “a small retailer that acts like a big retailer but with the heart of an independent”.

In 2020, the owners switched away from the recognised Budgens fascia to trade under the family name of its founders Philip and Lesley Tout. Since then, the business has put a huge focus on building recognition for the chain.

Tout’s set a goal to establish itself as a strong, trustworthy brand customers can rely on. To do so, it prioritised consistent availability and a wide product range, including “massive amounts” of locally sourced lines that are clearly marked in-store with shelf-edge labels.

Tout’s recognised the cost of living crisis could pose a challenge to its proposition. But rather than always striving to offer the lowest prices, the retailer continued focusing on local sourcing as a selling point, while pushing its Tout’s loyalty card programme. The scheme now has 24,000 members, having smashed its recruitment target of 20,000.

The business opened a third store in the second half of the year, which has helped increase overall store sales by 27%.

It’s not all been about bricks-and-mortar expansion, though. Tout’s also launched online delivery for the first time, in conjunction with Appy.


  • Central Co-op
  • Henderson Retail
  • Jempson’s Supermarkets
  • The Wilson Retail Group
  • Tout’s

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