This year the Independent Business Awards celebrated their 20th anniversary. It was commemorated in style at the gala dinner in the Forest of Arden Hotel, Warwickshire, during which the industry honoured the achievements of the best independent retailers and business excellence of the leading electrical brands in the UK.
The efforts of electrical independents were recognized in eight award categories, including big and small retailer awards for dealers specializing in consumer electronics, domestic appliances, and in both categories, as well as the Award for the Best Customer Service and Best Regional Multiple Retailer. Among the winners were Baileys of Verwood, Barretts Digital World, Simply Electricals, Carters Domestic Appliances, Kellyvision (KCS) and PRC. The Award for the Best Customer Service went to Bowden AV and the Best Regional Multiple Retailer was Richer Sounds.
The achievements of electrical manufactures – in terms of product development, their marketing efforts and retail training – were recognized in 16 award categories. The winners were AEG, Baumatic, Bosch, Freesat, the GDH Group, Miele, Panasonic, Roberts and Samsung. Panasonic won the Ultimate Top Supplier Award while the Special Representation Award went to Steve Valentine of Freesat.
Mike Floodgate who has spent 47 years in the industry and over the last fifteen years, while working for retra, became the ultimate authority on employment law, health and safety and consumer legislation, has received a standing ovation from the audience as he went to collect the Lifetime Contribution Award – in recognition of his commitment to the independent sector.
A full report from the IBA 2012 will be published in the August 2012 issue of IER. The list of the 2012 winners can be found at www.independentbusinessawards.com.