WHS, Ross and Simply Books win at The Bookseller awards

<p>W H Smith has been crowned <em>The Bookseller</em>&#39;s Bookselling Company of the Year, scooping the top prize for the first time in the five-year &shy;history of the Retail Awards.</p><p>The chain was commended for its growth strategy, despite a difficult trading year for all booksellers, which included the addition of a further 100 new outlets over the year, as well as its ability to &quot;attract and engage with&quot; readers. According to the judging panel, which included author Anthony Horowitz and Ottakar&#39;s &shy;founder James Heneage, WHS has become &quot;a powerhouse operation&quot; in recent times. </p><p>The chain also picked up the Martina Cole General Retailer award for the second year running. WHS won out for picking up on &quot;fresh opportunities in the high street&quot; post-&shy;Woolworths, marketing and retail excellence. </p><p>The Award for Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling, last year given to Gardners&#39; father-and-son team Alan and Jonathan Little, was this year won by Amanda Ross for her work on the &quot;Richard &amp; Judy&quot; Book Club. The judges cited her &quot;&pound;185m boon to the trade&quot; and having &shy;&quot;converted vast numbers of lesser readers into regular book buyers&quot;. </p><p>Last year&#39;s Bookselling Company of the Year, Waterstone&#39;s, took home two awards this year&mdash;for High Street Retailer and for the man behind its recently opened Liverpool One branch, Ian Critchley, who picked up Wiley Man&shy;ager of the Year. Critchley was applauded by the judges for his &quot;outstanding&quot; work in launching the new shop. </p><p>Borders also received two awards &quot;despite the uncertainty at head office&quot;, taking home the Usborne Children&#39;s Bookseller of the Year and the Nielsen Marketing Campaign award for its Where&#39;s Wally? On Google Earth campaign. The Book Depository scooped the Direct to Consumer gong for &quot;tick[ing] all the boxes&quot;. </p><p>Simply Books beat off tough competition to win the Bertrams Independent Bookseller award, while the Walker Books Children&#39;s &shy;Independent of the Year went to Jarrolds &shy;Children&#39;s Book Department.</p><p>Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of <em>The Bookseller</em>, said: &quot;We need retail excellence now more than ever, making these, the only awards to recognise the best in bookselling, doubly important.&quot;<br /></p><p><strong>The Bookseller Retail Awards winners 2009</strong></p><p>The Bookseller&#39;s Bookselling Company of the Year <br />W H Smith<br /><br />Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling <br />Amanda Ross<br /><br />High Street Retailer of the Year<br />Waterstone&#39;s<br /><br />Direct to Consumer Bookselling Company of the Year<br />The Book Depository</p><p>Bertrams Independent Bookseller of the Year<br />Simply Books<br /><br />Walker Books Children&#39;s Independent of the Year<br />Jarrolds Children&#39;s Book Department<br /><br />Wiley Manager of the Year<br />Ian Critchley, Waterstone&#39;s Liverpool One</p><p>Usborne Children&#39;s Bookseller of the Year <br />Borders<br /><br />Martina Cole General Retailer of the Year <br />W H Smith<br /><br />Nielsen Marketing Campaign of the Year <br />Borders Where&#39;s Wally? On Google Earth</p>