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‘NI retailers have shown innovation during pandemic’

Glyn Roberts of Retail NI urges ambitious shop owners to enter the Retailer of the Year category

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Excited: Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI

Excited: Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI

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Excited: Glyn Roberts, chief executive, Retail NI

Retail NI is once again delighted to support the Retailer of the Year category at this year’s Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.

These are challenging times for our retail sector and 2022 will be the year of reinvention for our sector and for our high streets and town centres.

Now more than ever we need to see a bold new leadership in the retail sector.

Therefore the judges in this year’s awards want to see as many entries as possible from retail leaders, demonstrating how they have led the transformation of their business through a rapid period of change.

In short, we what to hear from the retail change-makers.

Following the enormous success of our High Street Hero Award last year we would strongly encourage our local independent retailers to enter the 2022 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank.

In 2022 we will see the creation of more confident and dynamic independent retailers, who will be at the cutting edge of a new retail sector, leading toward 21st century town high streets.

These are retailer entrepreneurs who are innovators and trendsetters.

Consumer behaviour is rapidly changing, and people want something different from their high streets.

I believe that smaller, more agile and tech-savvy retailers who can adapt to this tidal wave of change will be the ones who will not just survive but thrive.

Covid-19 has accelerated the pace of change in our retail sector and the restructuring of the high street.

Like any restructuring process, there are always casualties. To survive and indeed thrive in retail in 2022, it is a constant process of change and innovation.

Many retailers have shown considerable innovation during the pandemic, getting better at digital and many independent food retailers have strengthened their role as a lifeline by ensuring food and other vital products were available for vulnerable members of our community.

To stand out in this year’s awards, you will need to show how your business has made a difference during the pandemic, setting out your community role and advancing the wellbeing agenda.

Another key factor for applicants is to demonstrate their commitment to sourcing and supporting local producers and suppliers. 

Retail NI members have always championed localism, priding themselves in supporting local suppliers, producers, and manufacturers.

Therefore, we want to see localism ‘on steroids’ along with the reimaging of our high streets as destinations where residents and visitors can dwell as they work, rest and play as the central policy priorities of the Executive’s recovery plan to drive future post-pandemic prosperity.

70p in every pound spent with a local independent retailer is recycled around the local economy, supporting local farmers, producers and manufacturers. The Retailer of the Year needs to successfully demonstrate their commitment to the local supply chain.

Do you think you have what it takes to be the Retailer of the Year?  If so, get your application in. 

To enter the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank, go to www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/businessawards/enter


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