“Brilliant stores, brilliant catalogues, brilliant products, brilliant marketing” – words that summed up the reason for Lakeland being named Britain’s Best Multiple Housewares Retailer at the glittering Britain’s Best Retailer Awards dinner on Wednesday night.
The accolade, along with a host of other awards recognising retail excellence, was presented in front of the event’s biggest audience in its five-year history. Manchester’s Deansgate Hilton provided the setting for the occasion, which is unique to the home improvement and home enhancement industries.
Lakeland was described on the evening as probably “the best-known name in housewares retailing. From its beginnings as a mail order business supplying plastic bags it has grown to a chain of 34 stores and a turnover of £125m – with fantastic customer relationships and a deeply-rooted culture of continuous new product development.”
The Best Multiple Housewares Retailer category also named John Lewis Partnership and Steamer Trading as Silver Winners. JLP was honoured for being “consistently one of the UK’s most admired retailers. And it has enhanced its housewares offer with the launch of an own-brand small electricals range – as well as a national ad campaign emphasizing the depth and breadth of its homewares range.”
Steamer Trading walked off with Silver for “exploiting a unique formula: a specialist cookshop with an up-market product mix and excellent customer service levels, trading from architecturally interesting sites in prosperous middle-class locations.” And turnover had more than doubled in the past two years.
The Award was sponsored by cutlery supplier Amefa, one of a host of high-profile names to give their support to the event. The others were: the BBC, with Good Homes and Gardener’s World; Decco with Fair & Square; The DIY & Garden Show with Totally Tools; Earlex; Gaggia; GfK; Fairfax Coffee; ICI Paints, with Dulux, Cuprinol, Hammerite and Polycell; Irwin Industrial Tools; Phoenix Security with Sterling; H&L Russel; Stax Trade Centres; Sunflex, with Harrison Drape and Swish; Trumeter; Wade Ceramics; and Weber Stephen Products.