There are thousands of brilliant specialist independent retailers scattered across the country and this year we have the following categories open to retailers with up to 10 stores.

How to Enter

It is FREE to enter and there is no limit to the number of categories you can enter.

We require independent retailers to fill out an entry form, listing why they deserve to win the prize in a specific category. Each independent category has its own set of criteria, so please check the guidelines below before entering.

Click on the 'Enter Now' button for the category you wish to enter. You can add further categories to your basket once you have created or logged into your account. Entries can be saved to basket and completed at a later date.

Deadline for entering independent categories: Friday August 14, 2020

Judging Process

When the entry deadline has passed, all entries are read and shortlisted by the Drinks Retailing editorial team.

Each of the shortlisted retailers are visited by an independent judge in order to assess the standard of retailing. Once all the store visits are completed, the judge then reports his findings back to a final judging panel, where the winners are decided.*

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday February 2, 2021 at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane. All finalists are invited to attend the awards as guests of Drinks Retailing magazine. Plus for all independent finalists there is a paid-for overnight stay at a London hotel.

* Please note: our judging process may differ slightly whilst we navigate the COVID19 situation.  


The majority of our independent categories have now closed but the following categories are still open for entry


This award will go to the independent drinks retailer that has most effectively used a range of social media platforms to grow the profile and sales of their business. Judges will take into account the creative elements of posts along with evidence of how the reach of social media is generating tangible commercial benefits. Volume of followers will be considered in the judging process but will not be the sole criteria for making the award. The award is for activity related to main business social media accounts, not those of individuals working within it.

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This award will go to the wholesale supplier of alcoholic drinks (or any particular type of drink such as wine, beer, whisky etc) that has demonstrated the highest standards of customer service and excellence in product range to allow off-trade retailers to create and operate successful businesses.

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This award will go to the independent or multiple online drinks business that, in the opinion of the judges, has consistently achieved the highest standards in customer service and sales performance in the past year. The judges will be looking for businesses that have achieved significant growth through customer recruitment and retention. Online businesses must supply their full web address.

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