It’s now nearly a week since the biggest night of the retail calendar and I’m only just getting over it. We were short-listed for the Best Online Retailer gong, so we donned our DJs and best frocks and headed up to the West End for a lavish bash at the Grosvenor House Hotel. All of the leading figures from the UK retail sector were there and a good night was had by all.
Jeremy Vine was the somewhat surprising choice as host for the evening. However, we were treated to the irreverent sounds of Tim Minchin on the piano. His performance of Canvas Bags was a joy to behold. The somewhat confused looks from some in the audience just added to the enjoyment.
Unfortunately, we didn’t walk away with Best Online Retailer award – Amazon were the worthy winners on the night. Although a bit disappointed, we are nonetheless honoured to be shortlisted alongside such illustrious online retailers. The full list of finalists for Best Online Retailer was:
N Brown Group
Shop Direct Group
The Retail Leader of the Year award went to Britain’s best grocer, Mark Price from Waitrose. Mark has been with the John Lewis Partnership since 1982 and is now MD at Waitrose. Very well deserved.
But the big winner of the evening was Primark and its founder Arthur Ryan. Primark took the Retailer of the Year award and Mr Ryan was honoured for his outstanding contribution to retail. Making what was described as his first ever public appearance, the septuagenarian accepted his award following a video tribute from Sir Philip Green. Retail Week’s editor, Tim Danaher, said: “Primark has transformed fashion retailing over the past decade, and that’s all down to the vision of Arthur Ryan.”