A night of talking shop as stores in Derby count down to the 2013 Retail Awards
THE winners of Derby's retail Oscars are to be revealed tomorrow night at an awards ceremony.
The Derby Retail Awards aim to honour the best retailers in the city.
The fourth annual awards recognise stores, both large and small, for their contribution to the city.
The categories have now been judged and the winners will be announced at an awards presentation at Derby College's Roundhouse campus.
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John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: "Retail is an extremely important part of the city's offer, both for visitors and residents, and the Derby Retail Awards 2013 will celebrate the best stores in Derby.
"Entries came from all over the city – from the historic Cathedral Quarter, Derby's traditional high street of the St Peter's Quarter and the 21st-century shopping mall experience at Westfield.
"Each category has been judged by a panel of independent experts and, in many cases, included visits from mystery shoppers.
"We look forward to revealing the winners and believe that they will reflect Derby's fantastic shopping experience and also provide a benchmark to which other stores can aspire to in the future."
Shops had the opportunity to apply in nine categories: Best Store Merchandising, Best Window Display, Best Customer Experience, Best Salesperson, Best Store Manager, Best Shopping Break Destination, Best Independent Retailer, Best Multiple/National Retailer and Best Charity Retailer.
The tenth accolade – the Derby Telegraph Customer Choice Award – was a new category introduced this year and was voted for by our readers.
More than 100 entries were received for this category.
Entries were judged by a wide range of industry professionals, drawing on experience, proven success and knowledge of all levels of retail.
To enter the awards, applicants had to submit no more than two pages of A4 paper addressing the specific criteria for the category.
David Pykett, who manages George Brigdens, in Iron Gate, said the store had submitted entries in four categories this year – Best Window Display, Best Store Merchandising, Best Store Manager and Best Independent Retailer.
The store won the window display category in 2010 and 2011.
It entered its allotment-themed display for this year's competition, which featured flowers and gardening equipment.
Mr Pykett said: "We're very excited about the awards and would be very pleased if we won.
"We take nothing for granted and we put a lot of effort into our window displays, which we take great pride in.
"I've been in the retail industry in Derby for 25 years and there's nothing else like these awards."