The very best from across the electrical retailing sector gathered on April 12 at London’s Park Plaza Victoria Hotel to celebrate the success of the past twelve months at the 26th iteration of the IER Awards.
The refreshed format of the event saw the daytime event kick off with a products and services demonstration, giving guests a unique opportunity to network with key figures from retailers and suppliers ahead of the awards presentations.
Innovative Electrical Retailing magazine editor Gregor Muir took to the stage to get the afternoon’s proceedings underway. Commenting on the attributes of the businesses that prosper within the vibrant sector, Muir says: “The successful retailers and manufacturers are those who tap into passions, show off the latest incredible products and demonstrate how it will improve the hobbies and activities that consumers already love. When you’re talking about passions, price doesn’t seem so important.”
The awards ceremony commenced with the retailer categories, which saw Avensys clinch the top spot in four categories winning Best Large Independent Retailer in Consumer Electronics, Best Independent Retailer Superstore Showroom and Best IER Retailer. Avensys employee Paul Haywood was honoured with the Best Young Gun Award, continuing the company’s reign in this particular category after being the first ever recipient of this award at the 2017 event.
The accolade for Best Small Independent Retailer was awarded to Dacombes of Wimborne for Consumer Electronics, while in the Domestic Appliances field Wellingtons Home Electrical was victorious.
Borshch Electric took home the Best Large Independent Retailer in Domestic Appliances accolade, Nailsea Electrical was the recipient of the Best Independent Kitchen Retailer Showroom Award and Stellisons Electrical Ltd picked up the Best Omnichanel Retailer honour. Marks Electrical took home the Best Website Award and in the Best Customer Service category, Forbes Rentals picked up the win.
Guests then enjoyed lunch followed by entertainment from Arsenal legend and sports pundit Perry Groves, before the second half of the presentations – honouring the outstanding products and services offered by manufacturers and suppliers – got underway.
Samsung took home three awards; its QuickDrive™ Washing Machine with AddWash™ was the winner of the Technical Innovation Award for Major Domestic Appliances, while the Samsung Home Appliances Training Team won the Best Training Award in Major Domestic Appliances and Rizwan Khalim was crowned the Best Industry Trainer.
Smeg picked up two awards at the ceremony, with the KLF04 Kettle receiving the Technical Innovation Award for Small Domestic Appliances and the company being honoured with the Best Training Award in Small Domestic Appliances.
The winner of the Technical Innovation Award in Consumer Electronics was LG for the OLED W7 Wallpaper TV; Sebo clinched the Best Floorcare Product Award for the X7 Pet ePower Upright Vacuum Cleaner and Panasonic’s 4K Pro EX1002 OLED TV was revealed to be the winner of the Best UHD TV award.
The Best Training Award in Consumer Electronics was awarded to Freeview’s Retail Development Executive (RDE) team; Beko’s Tony Breislin was awarded the Best Company Representation accolade and Domestic Appliance Distributors (D.A.D) took home the hotly-contested Best Distributor Award.
The final award of the afternoon was the coveted Lifetime Contribution Award, which recognises the very best individuals in the industry who have demonstrated an outstanding passion and commitment throughout the course of their career, and was awarded to Howard Saycell.
As well as serving as a platform for celebration, the IER Awards provides an opportunity for the industry to give something back through the annual charity collection which this year was carried out for retailTRUST. The charity is designed to improve the lives of all involved in retail and related industries in the UK, offering help and support financially, emotionally and vocationally in times of need and crisis. Guests at the Awards raised a generous amount for retailTRUST, and the full amount will be announced shortly.
Special projects and events manager Linda Dorling says: “The 2018 edition of the IER Awards has been a huge success; there’s been an amazing reaction to the fresh new format and I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that entered, voted, our amazing judges and all that attended – in particular our sponsors who help make the Awards possible.”
The IER Awards was sponsored by ASTRA, Beko plc, Connect Distribution, Domestic Appliance Distributors (D.A.D), Digital NRG, EPE Group, Electrical Safety First, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA), Magimix, Montpellier Domestic Appliances, retra, Samsung and Sirius Buying Group and supported by AMDEA and Tech UK.