Several suppliers won accolades at the annual Gala Awards organised by bira (British Independent Retailers Association).
Horwood was named bira direct Supplier of the Year in the Cookshop, Housewares, Tabletop & Gift category.
Bira said that Horwood, best known for its fast-moving cookware ranges, was chosen by retailers because of its “speed of deliveries, fair pricing structure, great range and terrific quality of products – exactly what you want and need from a supplier.” The company triumphed over a shortlist of three finalists: Dexam International, Kuhn Rikon and Eddingtons.
Kuhn Rikon scooped the award for best newcomer. Since it joined the association’s list of preferred suppliers, its business in the independent sector has grown substantially and now supplies more than 50% of bira’s cookshop members. Runners-up were the GreatBritish Card Company and distribution company TICCuk.
Dexam International also scored, taking the prize for best marketing. “Dexam shows great enthusiasm for supporting independent cookshop retailers by fully understanding their needs,” bira said. “It actively keeps members informed of products and developments through supporting as many CHA events and promotions as possible.” The finalists in this category were Eddingtons, EPE International and La Cafetiere.
Finally, the best growth award, which is based on turnover and increase in the number of bira members using the company through bira Direct, went to Taylor’s Eye Witness.
This supplier experienced membership usage growth of 28% in 2012 compared with 2011, contributing to an overall sales growth of 47% for the same period. “It’s seen an increase of some 26% in bira members buying from them – so overall, a great result in a difficult climate, said bira. Competition in this category came from Churchill China, Denby Pottery and Joseph Joseph.
Held in tandem with the bira High Street Conference,held at the Four Pillars Hotel in the Cotswolds Water Park last month, the bira direct awards ceremony was hosted by TV’s David Domoney.
Bira direct managing director Paul Woolley commented: “Our suppliers put a huge amount of skill and hard work into supporting our independent retail members and it’s gratifying to see that talent and effort rewarded with the public recognition they deserve.”