These are the 13 winners of the first Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards
There were cheers of celebration and tears of joy as the winners of the first Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards were revealed.
It has been over three months since the awards launched, and since then there has been public and business nominations, a judging process and further public votes to determine the winners of the 13 categories.
On Sunday night, those winners were finally revealed at a glittering black-tie ceremony at the Winter Garden and the Mercure Sheffield St Paul's Hotel and Spa.
The first award of the evening was Apprentice of the Year. This was won by Shauna Mosley, who has completed an apprenticeship with John Lewis and Partners.
Shauna impressed the judges with her leadership skills, as she supported large numbers of staff through various projects and tasks. Her work also helped to improve quarterly stock take results.
There were tears of joy from Shauna as she accepted her award on stage from Dale Robinson, Director of Business Development at the Source.
Also invited on to the stage was fellow Apprentice of the Year nominee and John Lewis and Partners Apprentice, Alicia King. Alicia was given a Highly Commended award as the judges were also extremely impressed with her work, which has led her to becoming a team manager.
It was a strong start to the night for John Lewis and Partners, who quickly won a second award, Best Shop Front.
The award, which recognised local retailers who pride themselves on their shop frontage, was given to John Lewis because of their dedication to promoting annual Sheffield music festival Tramlines.
There were cheers of joy from the John Lewis staff as their name was read out. Jude Ford, Joanne Kirkham and Jo Szurko came on stage to accept the award, with the trio saying that they were proud to support a local event.
The third award was Cafe of the Year. This category was chosen to acknowledge all the cafes which have made a difference to the city centre and provide welcoming and relaxing environments and great food and drink for their customers.
There were four finalists in this category, but the award when to independent cafe Marmadukes, on Norfolk Row. The award was presented by husband and wife duo Clare and Tim Nye, who were overwhelmed with their win and are just about to open their second cafe in the city centre.
Tim said: “Thank you to everyone involved who created this terrific new event. It’s more evidence that Sheffield is on the up.”
The next retailer to take home one of our Sheffield City Centre Retail Award trophies was McDonalds, for Best Customer Service.
There were more whoops of joy as Phil Huby, Head of UK Retail at Aberdeen Standard Investment, announced the High Street branch of the fast food chain as the winner.
The shop is now being led by a new management team who have worked hard to restore brand values of family friendly fun. The award was accepted on behalf of the store by Craig Buck, who was joined on stage by colleagues.
The fifth accolade of the night was the Independent Retailer award. It was created to recognise independent retailers who are involved in their communities.
Competition was tough in this category, with four of our fantastic independent shops making the shortlist. There could, however, only be one winner and that was La Biblioteka.
The shop, which is now housed in Kommune, has grown quickly in the last for years. It started as a market stall and is now a permanent bookshop which offers a place for independent publishers to sell their work.
The award was presented to Alex Maxwell by Andrew Davison, Project Director at Queensberry.
Fellow Kommune trader Hop Hideout, which is a specialist beer shop, was also given a Highly Commended award in this category was the judges were also extremely impressed by the entrepreneurial efforts of the staff there.
Next, it was time to celebrate the bigger shops in our city centre who employ more than 15 members of staff with the Large Retailer award.
The award, which was presented by Diane Jarvis, Manager at the Sheffield BID, went to local independent store Atkinsons of Sheffield.
Christine and Nicholas Atkinson proudly accepted the award, with Nicholas declaring that the shop, which has been trading for over 145 years, would always remain a go-to shopping destination in our city centre.
The next award focused on individuals who have gone above and beyond in their role and had a big impact on the retail community.
The Oustanding Contribution award went to to Jim Freeman from Patriot Games. There were huge cheers from the crowd as he was presented with his award by Amanda Phillips, centre manager of The Moor.
Jim said he was proud to ‘provide a safe space for people to be themselves’ and enjoy playing games.
Craig Buck of McDonalds also received a Highly Commended award in this category as the judges wanted to give him credit for the work he had done to make the High Street branch welcoming for families again.
Staying with a focus on individual people, the next award was the Rising Star award which was presented to a innovative person, aged 18-25, who joined the retail sector within the last two years. The winner was Sophie Petford of Kitty Barn, who set up her cat cafe on Chapel Walk just nine months ago.
Sophie accepted her award from Vicky Eadson, Business Development Manager at the Source, and said it meant a lot to her ‘as a 21-year-old woman in the business world’.
The ninth award was for Small Retailer, stores with 15 or less staff and offering a unique selling point. Competition in this category was also fierce, but it was family-run independent gift store Within Reason that won the award. There were more cheers of joy as the all female team went up on stage to collect their trophy from Nancy Fielder, Editor of the Sheffield Star.
The team said they were honoured that their customers had nominated them for the award.
Next, it was the second award of the night for La Biblioteka, who also took home the title of Speciality Retailer.
Referring to fellow nominee Hotel Chocolat, Alex once again took to the stage to accept his award - this time from Rob Hollingworth, Managing Editor of the Sheffield Star and Telegraph – and said ‘I can’t believe I’ve won against chocolate. I’m overwhelmed’.
The next accolade was for Start-Up Retailer of the Year, and recognised those stores who had been open for two years of less and had brought something new to the city centre. The winner was Wildwood Artisan Gifts and Coffee Shop, on Fitzwilliam Gate, which has recently celebrated its first birthday.
The store creates a unique environment for customers by offering both a cafe and a gift shop under one roof.
Husband-and-wife duo Lindsay and George Lonchar accepted their award from Andrew Davison, and said the accolade would be a belated birthday present for them. Kitty Barn also received a Highly Commended award in this category.
The penultimate award of the night was the Sustainable Retailer of the Year award. This was for a retailer that could demonstrate the positive impact they had on the environment, marketplace, workplace and community.
The winner was John Lewis and Partners, and the staff reacted with jubilation to be given another award. The judges, including Richard Eyre, Head of Centre Management and major events at the Sheffield City Council, who presented the award, were pleased with the stores recycling scheme and charity work.
The final award of the night was chosen by customers, who submitted over 3,000 votes for the People's Voice Award.
There was a standing ovation as Suzy Brain England from the Sheffield BID announced Patriot Games as the winner.
The whole team accepted the award on stage, and Jim Freeman said thanked everyone who voted saying ‘it really does mean the world’.
The event sponsors and award judges shared in the joy of the award winners.
Amanda Phillips, Centre Manager of The Moor and also award judge, said: “This was the inaugural Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards - and what a way to begin. I am delighted how retailers have responded to this and want to thank the team including JPI Media for their support.
“This is a turning point in the city centres' fortunes, despite an uncertain retail landscape Sheffield is powering ahead.
“We celebrated a real mix of independents and high street names that all work together to reinforce our city’s character and to increase its draw as a destination to visitors. I am now looking forward to planning next years awards.”
Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID Manager and also award judge, said: “Sheffield BID is proud to have been part of the first Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards and thought the entire evening was a success.
“The mix of independent and national winners across the night showcased what a diverse and vibrant retail offer we boast.”
Richard Eyre Head of Major Events and City Centre Management and also awards judge, said: “The awards showed the diverse range of retailers we have in the city centre and gave a strong message that the High Street isn’t dead and is fighting back. The awards are a great way of raising the profile of retailers but also raising standards for an overall improved offer.”
Andrew Davison, Project Director for Heart of the City II, Queensberry: “Thank you so much to all who were involved in organising the awards. This is the first year we have sponsored the event and we were impressed with the quality of entries put forward.
“The competition standards were extremely high and whilst the judging process was tough, it was an incredibly rewarding experience for us. As Sheffield’s City Council’s strategic development partner, we are working with them to deliver Heart of the City II.
“This will see the complete regeneration of Sheffield City Centre, so it’s great to learn more about the great independent brands which are growing in the region and celebrate the stories behind their success.”
Surriya Falconer, of Falconer Associates, added: “It was a great evening and a wonderful way to celebrate retailers in Sheffield City Centre.
“It clearly meant a lot to those who won to have their hard work and contribution recognised. It is good to be able to stop occasionally and reflect on the positive effect recent years of investment have had, and to see how much our retail offer has improved.”