Best Small Shops 2020 relaunched with new COVID-19 innovation category

The Independent Retailers’ Confederation (IRC) has announced a special category in its search to find Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2020.

The Best Small Shops Competition relaunched post lockdown on Independents’ Day, Saturday 4th July, celebrating the return of indie retail to UK high streets and shopping parades. The judges will be seeking entries from independents that are demonstrating specific innovation to combat the impact of COVID-19 in a new award category sponsored by booost.

“It is widely recognised just how challenging it has been for many independent retailers during the months of COVID-19 lockdown – those who have had to close their doors and those considered essential who were able to trade throughout,” said Mark Walmsley, chair of the IRC. “The pandemic has not only brought about challenges such as reduced income but also extensive complexities resulting in the evident need for re-invention.

“We have witnessed and continue to see extraordinary examples of innovation and ingenuity in being able to adapt a business to continue trading in some form. This is unsurprising, given the agility and commitment of independent retailers to their local communities and, in this extraordinary year, it is something we are determined to recognise and celebrate.”

The annual competition highlights the best of Britain’s independent retail sector, celebrating the commitment and creativity of independent retailers and the central role they play in their local communities. Two bike shops made it onto the shortlist of 2019’s competition, with Arragon’s Cycle Centre and Rides On Air making the cut after hundreds of shops were narrowed down to the shortlist of 25.

“Despite the challenging retail environment, there is bountiful evidence that people value and believe it is important to support their local independent retailers,” added Walmsley. “These shops are at the heart of communities up and down the country, offering a meeting place, not to mention choice, diversity, innovation and genuine customer service.”

Entries for all award categories in this year’s competition close on September 11th.

Read the July edition of BikeBiz below:

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