This year’s Retailer of the Year awards celebrate those who have shown great altruism and innovation, going the extra mile during a challenging 2020.
With what has been a difficult year for not only the toy industry, but retail in general, this year’s Retailer of the Year awards (organised by the British Toy & Hobby Association) celebrates those who have shown great altruism and innovation, and who have gone the extra mile during such a challenging year.
“This is a change from our usual awards. We made a conscious decision this year in the retail landscape to take a completely different tack on the Retailer of the Year awards and celebrate the retailers who have gone the extra mile,” explained Phil Ratcliffe, president of the BTHA and chair of the Retailer of the Year judging panel. “We are not using our historic categories, instead we are celebrating altruism and innovation and we have received lots of entries demonstrating this.
“This year we have decided not to award an overall Retailer of the Year as toy retail from every quarter contributed massively. Over the last 12 months, retailers across the industry, both small and large, have shown great spirit and dedication in adapting and shaping their business to help support and provide for customers despite the challenges they have faced throughout the continuing pandemic. We are mindful that there have been many great acts of support and generosity during the pandemic across the industry, but the panel can only judge those who entered or were nominated.”
The following retailers have been recognised for their efforts throughout 2020: Toy Corner from Galway, Ireland, The Trading Post from Kingsbridge, Devon, The Entertainer and Smyths Toys.
In addition, in order to recognise and celebrate staff within retail who have gone above and beyond normal service, the Superhero Awards have been introduced.
The winner of the inaugural ‘Ultimate Superhero’ Award is Lisa Clay of Armadillo Toys who has continued to deliver excellent services to her customers and community, while using innovative ideas to make safety restrictions in her shop child-friendly and fun.
Lisa worked every single day throughout lockdown and delivered toys to customers herself, as well as sorting postal orders and arranging for collection. Lisa also created her own character – Sally the Social Distancing Spinosaurus – who had socially distanced dinosaur footprints around the shop, as well as Sally’s special sanitising station, among other initiatives and activities.
Alongside Lisa were lots of brilliant examples of how individuals went above and beyond to help their community this year and in turn have been awarded a Superhero Award. Their efforts ranged from volunteering for the NHS, helping in their local community, raising funds and volunteering for local charities.
Toy Retailer Awards
- Toy Corner, Galway, Ireland
- The Trading Post, Kingsbridge, Devon
- The Entertainer
- Smyths Toys
Ultimate Superhero Award
- Lisa Clay, Armadillo Toys, Leeds
- Lisa Dyson, Games Crusade
- Nouman Quereshi, eBay
- Craig Whiting, The Entertainer, East Kilbride
- Julie Robbins, The Entertainer, Jersey
- Karen Stacey, The Entertainer, Brent Cross
- Layla Owen, The Entertainer, Llandudno
- Chantel Lopez, The Entertainer, Ashford
- Inna Nikolova, The Entertainer, Stratford
- Jade Oliver-Deacon, The Toy Shop, Okehampton
- Kelsey Davis, The Entertainer, Hereford
- Paul Hart, The Entertainer, Telford
- Karen Emery, The Entertainer area manager
- Kelly Martin, The Entertainer, Brighton
Andrew Laughton, chairman of the BTHA, commented: “It has been incredibly heart-warming reading through all the inspiring efforts by individuals and retailers who have shown great creativity, selflessness and spirit while adjusting to keep not only the toy industry going but also helping those in need during these difficult times.
“While we have highlighted just a few of the extraordinary efforts, we are sure there are many more unsung heroes that we are unaware of. The real winner this year was toy retail in general and we are grateful to the whole toy industry who have done masses this year.”
Andrew continued: “I’d also like to give a special thank you to Golden Bear who have created these bespoke Superhero awards for us. The toy industry has proved just how special it is this year in coming together and I congratulate everyone involved.”