German discount supermarket chain Aldi scooped the International Retailer Award at the Oracle Retail Week Awards in London's Grosvenor House on Thursday night.
The win follows on from a new retail study revealing how Aldi is now the fastest-growing retailers in the UK. The results of the study were presented at Retail Week Live by OC&C Strategy Consultants, placed Aldi first in their ranking of the 20 fastest-growing British retailers, in which ten value brands appeared alongside six premium brands.
Also on the night, the Clarity Retail Leader of the Year was awarded to Walgreens Boots Alliance executive vice-chairman Stefano Pessina.
Meanwhile, former Kingfisher group chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Retail accolade at the ceremony. He was presented with the award by Kingfisher architect Sir Geoff Mulcahy and Kim Buckland, founder of Liz Earle.
Irish fashion retailer Primark - operating as Penneys in its home market - picked up two awards: International Growth Initiative - New Market Expansion and Own-Brand Range / Product Of The Year for its Kiss Me product line. Other award winners on the night included Marks & Spencer, Shop Direct and Argos.
The awards ceremony wrapped up the two-day Retail Week Live event, which featured keynote speakers, retail industry discussion panels, an exhibitors area and a new Innovation Campus showcasing the latest retail technology in click-and-collect, customer analytics, customised videos for retailers, and more - all developed by a number of new and exciting tech start-ups.
In the Pitch Perfect sessions, the 12 start-ups pitched their innovative retail technology propositions to a panel of judges and audience present.
The start-ups taking part in Innovation Campus were Ometria, Collectec Limited, Photospire, Digital Bridge, Elevaate, SoPost, YOOBIC, Big Data For Humans, Pelipod, Formisimo, Spaaza and Goodvidio.
Formisimo, Elevaate and Digital Bridge were the overall winners of the competition following a live audience poll.
Being awarded one of the twelve start-up places to exhibit at Innovation Campus was a true “money can’t buy” opportunity, Collectec director Craig Bloomfield told ESM, providng the click-and-collect solutions firm with access to multichannel retailers and the key decision makers within the sector.
Collectec's store click-and-collect solutions bridge the gap between the digital and physical retail worlds. "By connecting retail staff and customers in-store or on drive throughs, we give retailers a competitive edge by offering a convenient collection experience consumers actually want to use again," he added.
Ger O'Meara, co-founder and CEO of Photospire, which enables retailers to gather visual content and merge it with real-time data to auto-generate dynamic video for consumers, told ESM that the Innovation Campus helps bridge the gap between the retail community and leading retail tech start-ups.
"This provided Photospire with a unique opportunity to unveil our automated personalised video generator to the retail industry. Retailers got to see the power of Photospire while the Photospire team got invaluable feedback and introductions to the retailers that are at the forefront of innovation in the industry," he said.
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