Morrisons, The Co-op, Waitrose, Hedonism and Tesco were among the big winners as we rewarded excellence at the 2019 Drinks Retailing Awards at The Dorchester.

Morrisons was named Multiple Beer Retailer of the Year and Multiple Wine Retailer of the Year, and it then walked off with Supermarket of the Year to cap a fine evening. 

The Co-op was named Convenience Chain of the Year and Innovative Retailer of the Year following another superb 12 months of trading.

Waitrose took home awards for Multiple Cider Retailer of the Year and Multiple Sparkling Wine and Champagne Retailer of the Year, while Asda was named Multiple Spirits Retailer of the Year. 

Tesco scooped Drinks Buying Team of the Year and Retailer Promotion of the Year. 

It was double delight too for Tatiana Fokina, who led London store Hedonism to Luxury Retailer of the Year and Independent Sparkling Wine and Champagne Retailer of the Year. 

A number of magnificent indies were celebrated at the awards. House of the Trembling Madness took home the Independent Beer award, Pilango Cider Vault was named Independent Cider Retailer of the Year and Lea & Sandeman was named Independent Wine Retailer of the Year. 

 Oxford Wine Co took home Regional Chain of the Year in a competitive category that also featured Cambridge Wine Merchants, Jeroboams and Vagabond.

Gwin Llyn Wines was named Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year for its excellent all-round offering, while Loki was named Hybrid Retailer of the Year for successfully fusing off-trade and on-trade elements.

The Whisky Exchange won Independent Spirits Retailer of the Year in another fiercely competitive category, while Master of Malt was named Online Retailer of the Year.

Dike & Son was given the award for Convenience Store of the Year and Block & Bottle won Newcomer of the Year, while Imperial Cash & Carry took home the Wholesaler of the Year trophy.

Many congratulations to all of our winners and our finalists.

Retail standards have arguably never been higher when it comes to BWS and that has ensured that our readers have largely remained profitable in an era of increasing moderation among consumers.

Analysing this broad and dynamic industry and devising a shortlist of the very best retailers in the business in each category is a mammoth task, particuarly as we received a record number of entries this year, and we have dedicated a great deal of resource to it in order to get it right. We feel our judging process is robust and therefore the shortlist is truly representative of the best in the business.

Our team has been out and about across the UK, from Goring to Gateshead, conducting store visits at a host of brilliant independent retailers. We also went to several branches of all the multiples, assessing them on range, sourcing, appearance, retail standards, merchandising, marketing, in-store communication, promotion, innovation, staff knowledge, customer engagement and business success. We have also been spending a lot of time online, accompanied by ecommerce experts, analysing retailers’ strengths and weaknesses in the digital sphere.

This is also bolstered by Nielsen retailer sales data, a strong indicator of who is growing market share and who is driving value into the market. We also worked with YouGov to poll 2,000 consumers on which retailers are excelling with their BWS offerings. To be nominated for a Drinks Retailing Award is a tremendous achievement, and to win one is a stamp of the ultimate quality.