The Booksellers Association is rallying indie bookshops to put themselves forward for Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2019 following last year's win for The Main Street Trading Company.
The St Boswells-based bookshop triumphed in last year's competition and the BA hopes indie booksellers will be able to capitalise on the win to showcase the difference they make to the UK high street.
“We are really keen for bookshops to submit for the Best Small Shops Competition," said BA m.d. Meryl Halls. "We’ve had such a great showing over the last few years – The Main Street Trading Company won last year, and had a measurable impact from the win – and we have had bookshops shortlisted in the last two competitions, so we really hope we can carry on the over-representation of bookshops, who, after all, are very much the Best Small Shops in the UK. The competition brings together indie retailers from across the spectrum, and allows the best community-builders, place-makers and retail innovators to showcase the wonderful work they do on our high streets.”
Mainstreet Trading Company owner Rosamund de la Hey said the prize has had “by far the biggest impact of anything we have been involved in before”.
Indies Drake The Bookshop in Stockton, which was highly commended, Forum Books in Northumberland, and Kenilworth Books in Warwickshire, were also recognised last year.
The annual search to find Britain’s Best Small Shop, a competition managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) will close on 9th September with the shortlisted entries invited to attend the competition reception at the Houses of Parliament in November to meet with MP’s, trade representatives and other shortlisted retailers, before the winner and runners up are announced.
For 2019 competition entrants will be challenged with promoting the benefits of their retail offering to consumers with the initial selection process being voted on by the general public at indieretail.uk. Competition entrants will need to succinctly showcase their proposition to consumers, outline areas of community engagement, alongside innovation and development plans for their business over the coming years. Full entry details here.