Independent retail champions recognised at 2020 NFRN Awards

A total of 13 NFRN members and suppliers were honoured at the prestigious NFRN Awards on Tuesday night (January 28) for their work and dedication to the industry.

Independent retailers, publishers, suppliers and wholesalers gathered at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London to celebrate all the best in the independent retailing sector.

The awards reward retailers and suppliers who have made their business a success through innovation, determination, grit and foresight.

Television presenter and journalist Naga Munchetty hosted the awards evening. Among winners on the night were Martin Ward from Cowpen Lane News in Billingham who was crowned Member of the Year, Cadbury Orange Twirl which was named Launch of the Year and Amish Shingadia from Londis Caterways in Horsham who was the Symbol Convenience Retailer of the Year.


Our Award Winners

Read more about the winners & view full picture gallery

For more great pictures, and to read more about the winners, visit the NFRN Facebook page

Stuart Reddish’s opening speech

NFRN Awards host Naga Munchetty

Confirmation of the winners at NFRN Awards 2020

Member of the Year
Martin Ward
Cowpen Lane News, Billingham, Cleveland

Newsagent of the Year
Sean Hudson
West Boldon Post Office, South Tyneside

Store2Door Deliverer of the Year
Raj Patel
Newsbox, Loughton, Essex

Store2Door Agent of the Year
Jonathan Powell
Newspaper Delivery Newport, Wales

Collectables Product Retailer of the Year
Andrew Howell
Lomond News, Balloch, Dunbartonshire

National Lottery Retailer of the Year
Hitesh Modi
Londis, Chesham, Bucks

Responsible Selling Retailer of the Year
Bay Bashir
Belle Vue Convenience Store, Middlesbrough

Community Retailer of the Year
Adrian Thompson
Filby Post Office, Norfolk

Convenience Retailer of the Year – Symbol
Amish Shingadia
Londis Caterways, Horsham, West Sussex

Independent Retailer of the Year
Sandra Tickner
Selection Box, Pen-y-fai, Bridgend, Wales

Product Launch of the Year
Cadbury Orange Twirl

Product of the Year
Red Bull

Supplier of the Year
Booker Wholesale

Featured Tweets

Check out the event hashtag #NFRNAwards20 for more great tweets

Our 2020 Retailer & Supplier Finalists

See who made the shortlist in each category by navigating through the image gallery below.

Our 2020 NFRN Awards Sponsors

Below and in their own words, our 2020 NFRN Awards sponsors tell us why they were proud to be associated with this leading event.

Booker Wholesale is proud of our long standing relationship with the NFRN. Booker’s commitment to improving choice, price, service ensures that we can offer federation members the best wholesale option in the market. We also offer every member retail support, whether that be by one of our symbol group options or our ‘Shop Local’ range of shopper promotions.

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Any member of the federation can call into any Booker branch, where the team will be happy to support and help them grow their business.

We were delighted to sponsor the NFRN Member of the Year, one of the most prestigious and coveted accolades at the NFRN Awards. This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm and hard work in going out of their way to support fellow members. This award recognises the individual that has shown their dedication to not just the federation but the thousands of retailers that belong to it.

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Nisa was delighted to be sponsoring the 2020 NFRN Awards given the many synergies between our two organisations. For over 100 years the NFRN has championed the cause of the independent retailer and for almost 50 years Nisa has been committed to supporting independent retailers to grow their businesses and compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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The retailers that both of our organisations support are the life blood of communities across the UK and Ireland and these NFRN Awards recognise and celebrate the fantastic work independent retailers are doing up and down the country.

We hope that through our involvement and support of the NFRN and these awards, Nisa can demonstrate the pride and value it places in the efforts of our nation’s independent retailers and show our support for all in our sector as true champions of independent retailing.

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Camelot, operator of The National Lottery, was delighted to sponsor The National Lottery Retailer of the Year category in the 2020 NFRN Awards. Over the past 25 years, National Lottery retailers have helped us raise over £40 billion for Good Causes and support 565,000 individual Good Cause Projects across the UK – an average of 200 National Lottery grants in every UK postcode district.

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During this time, you have helped us pay out a staggering £73 billion in prizes to winners and create 5,500 millionaires and multi-millionaires. Not only that, our retail partners have also earned over £6.7 billion in commission.

We now have around 44,000 retailers across the UK – with independent outlets making up the majority – who account for around 70% of total National Lottery sales. This demonstrates just how much of an asset our retail partners are to Camelot, The National Lottery, players and Good Causes. Thank you, without your support, The National Lottery success story would not be what it is today – 25 years on.

Following two years of successive growth and a record 2019/2020 financial half-year performance, total National Lottery ticket sales in retail have increased by 5 per cent despite the ongoing challenging high street conditions.

This success also gives us a fantastic platform on which to build as we ramp up to next year and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It has prepared us to support the next generation of arts, heritage, sport and communities projects – funding so many activities at which the UK is truly world-class.

Working alongside the NFRN to acknowledge excellence among independent retailers, we have the perfect opportunity to help showcase and celebrate all their hard work and contribution to society by selling National Lottery products.

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The NFRN Awards shine a spotlight on independent retailers who make an important contribution to their local communities, through their hard work, commitment and innovation.  A significant number of NFRN members also provide Post Office services, which are an essential element of the local economy, providing customers with access to vital services like mails, banking, travel money and bill payments.

Independent retailers are very important to our industry, enabling us to communicate with our customers in the furthest reaches of the country. This is why JTI has such great respect for the NFRN, who – as one of Europe’s largest retailer associations – provide essential support to retailers, allowing them to maintain levels of success in what is a highly competitive market.

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We are proud to show our appreciation through support for the NFRN Awards. It is extremely important for us to help acknowledge those who, on a daily basis, play a huge role in our success. This is especially true for the category we’ve chosen to support – the Independent Retailer of the Year – Symbol award.

We want to celebrate the achievements of those retailers who work incredibly hard to stay ahead of the competition; who consistently use their initiative and expertise to implement new retail solutions and who are not scared to be innovative for the advancement of their store. Those who believe in the power of community and the vital role local businesses can play in bringing people together, are the retailers who deserve recognition.

By supporting events like the NFRN awards, we are also able to speak to retailers face-to-face. We learn so much from these interactions, hearing their experiences first-hand, which in turn allows us to tailor our advice and support to their most immediate needs. The input of independent retailers is also vital in enabling us to provide new products that fully meet consumer demands.

We want to extend our best wishes to all the finalists and winners. It’s a great achievement to be recognised amongst your peers as a leading figure in the industry.

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We believe that independent retail is the cornerstone of “doing business” in the UK and are proud to support those who provide outstanding service to their customers. It is important to recognise the individual retailer who has demonstrated their ability to excel in a hugely competitive environment which is what we do by sponsoring the Independent Convenience Retailer of the Year.

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The bond between an independent retailer and their customers is very strong. We want to offer retailers the best mix of products to help strengthen that relationship.

Globally, PMI is in the forefront of developing the heated tobacco category. Our research and development in creating a range of heated tobacco products enables retailers to offer adult smokers a better alternative to cigarettes. Our “HEETS” brand is available for all retailers with five SKUs available, 2 of which are mentholated, at an RRP of £5.

One of the biggest challenges in 2020 for many retailers will be the potential impact of the ban on menthol cigarettes on their business. PMI aims to provide the support – and products – to help retailers to thrive.

The NFRN supports independent retail by providing practical help and assistance, commercial support, deals and buying opportunities, training, expertise and services. We believe that these valuable services can help retailers to succeed at a time when the business environment is becoming increasingly competitive. The NFRN is a vital link for us to connect with retailers so we can play our role in helping independent retail to prosper and expand.

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Reach plc has been sponsors of the NFRN Community Champion awards scheme since its conception in 2018. We are extremely proud to be associated with this worthy scheme which rewards and recognises news retailers from the all over the country for their fantastic commitment to supporting their local communities.

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On the quarterly judging panels it has been our privilege to read numerous testimonials concerning NFRN members’ willingness to a play a pivotal role in ensuring that their community remains a vibrant and cohesive one. From a newsagent’s perspective, we have heard many examples of retailers going above and beyond the call of duty in offering an excellent service to their customers. This might be anything from sourcing a special publication to meet the needs of an individual customer through to battling the worst which the British weather has to offer to make sure that the home delivery service gets through.

In addition to providing an excellent service to their own customers Reach has also been greatly impressed by NFRN members’ willingness to be involved in all sorts of community groups and projects. These have varied from Scout groups to care homes and from cricket clubs to the local hospice. Whilst appreciating how hard our independent retailers have to work to maximise the cash that comes through their tills, we find it greatly impressive that they still find time in their busy lives to support these groups and be a key part of their community. It is for these reasons that we delighted that Reach plc is able to continue to be involved in the NFRN Community Champion awards scheme.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask all NFRN members to be aware of this scheme and not to miss the opportunity to be recognised for their contribution within their community. In the meantime I look forward to reading more great examples of newsagents in the community and selecting more worthy winners in 2020.

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The creation and development of the ‘Newsagent of the Month‘ award has been extremely rewarding. In its third year now, the award was created to recognise the fantastic effort of Independent retailers, not only to drive newspaper sales, but also to celebrate their overall achievements and importance to their communities.

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2019 has been our most successful year since launching, with entry numbers growing every month. In addition to this the retailers entering are adding more detail and depth to their entries making the monthly awards really close to call.

This year we launched the ability for customers to nominate their local newsagents as well, this has been really well received – with one of the nominations winning the NOTM for their area.

Andy Law, Mail Newspapers independents retail sales manager, added: “The monthly awards were created to provide much-deserved recognition to the brilliant work that independent retailers up and down the country do to drive newspaper sales as well as work within their communities. The winners of each month are then shortlisted and have a chance to win the annual Newsagent of the Year award, presented at the NFRN Awards”.

The Newsagent of the Month awards recognise excellence in newspaper retailing, focusing on achievements and innovation in display quality, support of promotional activity and general sales performance.

Running throughout 2019, this competition is exclusive to NFRN members. To enter simply fill in the application form on the NFRN website at  We cannot stress enough the need to support your application with photographs and text that show how you champion the news category.

Entries must be received by the end of each month, with the winners announced during the middle of the following month. Good luck!

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Smiths News is delighted to continue its sponsorship of the NFRN Awards. Independent retailers are a critical part of the supply chain, delivering an important service to their local communities, in particular providing home delivery of newspapers, which is still a bedrock of newspaper circulations.

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It is, therefore, appropriate that we should support the event that celebrates what is best in independent retailing and acknowledge the dedication, commitment and service to their community that the NFRN Awards night represents.

We recognise that the newspaper and magazine category is not always the easiest category to manage in store but without the professionalism of the NFRN and their members, the towns and villages across the country would be deprived of the news, entertainment and insight that newspapers and magazines bring to their readers.

All the efforts of publishers and the supply chain are wasted if we haven’t got passionate retailers ensuring their customers get their hands on their favourite title. This is what the NFRN and their members are all about.

We hope all those nominated appreciate our debt to them in setting the benchmark for other retailers to aspire to.

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The Telegraph was delighted to be sponsoring Store2Door News Deliverer of the Year 2019 – Home News Delivery is a huge part of our business. Retailers, delivery specialists and their news deliverers deserve this recognition for their tireless efforts – it really is appreciated across the industry.

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In the second half of 2019 we worked in partnership with NFRN and its membership to drive our subscription first strategy, rewarding them for their support generating Telegraph subscriptions.

During 2020 The Telegraph will continue to invest in the NFRN and the future of retail.

We will also invest in our products delivering the highest quality journalism to our customers whilst enabling you to maximise sales and profit.

We are delighted to be an NFRN Elite Partner and as part of this partnership in 2020 have agreed an investment package for members who work with us to further drive our subscriptions base.  This is a significant commitment that we are making to NFRN members and we would encourage you to take part in this strategy which we believe offers guaranteed long term revenue for the retail trade. Telegraph subscriptions increase frequency of purchase whilst locking in customers to the newspaper & their local retailer / delivery specialist whilst providing the same profit margin.

If you would like to be part of The Telegraph subscriptions activity in 2020 and require a support point of sale package including hints and tips on how to convert your Telegraph non subscriber customers into regular ‘guaranteed sale’ subscribers please contact or NFRN Connect on 0800 121 6376.

May we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.

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The Retail Mutual was proud to be sponsoring at the NFRN Awards 2020. We have supported the NFRN and the independent retail sector since we were established over 20 years ago and are delighted to continue doing so. Founded by retailers, for retailers, The Retail Mutual was born in 1999 as the NFRN Mutual, a small, specialist provider of business cover tailored to the needs of retail newsagents.

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As the sector has evolved, so too has the Mutual, and today we are proud to support a whole spectrum of independent retail shops and service providers across the UK’s high streets.

In addition to business cover we also offer home and residential landlord cover plus access to an extended portfolio of products and services. These include life insurance, critical illness insurance and a dedicated mortgage service powered by L&C, plus a health cash plan and private health cover in partnership with Westfield Health. Our products and services are available not only to independent retailers but also to their families, staff, wholesalers and suppliers.

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Newstrade Media logo

Through its publications and website, including RN, Retail Express, The Retail Success Handbook and, as well as its events, such as the Independent Achievers Academy and Local Shop Summit, Newtrade Media inspires and supports the causes and advancement of the independent retail channel.

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As a champion of the independent convenience channel, we are proud to partner with the federation at the NFRN Awards to reward independent retailers for their successes over the past year and the suppliers that have helped them run more profitable businesses.

We were delighted to sponsor Launch of the Year at this year’s awards. Product launches are vital in keeping retailers’ stores fresh, exciting and relevant to their customers, and with independent stores often the first stop for local shoppers on the hunt for new products, executing stand out launches in their shops can turn those products into star performers overnight.

It’s important for suppliers to keep investing in driving well-supported innovation through the independent channel and these nominees are shining examples of how brands can work with independent retailers effectively to benefit the whole supply chain.

This category recognises the brands and products that have been a huge hit in independent stores in the past 12 months, helping them increase their sales and profits.

You can keep your finger on the pulse of the latest product launches by reading RN magazine, Retail Express and To get weekly information, as well as useful insight into how to improve your shop, you can subscribe to RN by contacting or 020 3871 6490.

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