The Irish Times and AIB Merchant Services celebrated the winners of its Best Shops competition in a prize-giving ceremony in The Irish Times.
The winners of each category were presented with a plaque commemorating their win and POS to decorate their award-winning shops.
According to the Irish Times, “the Best Shops competition seeks the shops that stand-out, that tantalise customers with their merchandise, go the extra mile in terms of service and generally make customers feel that they appreciate their money. The competition relies on reader nominations, to help us discover these hidden gems.
“Once again we have had an amazing response from readers telling us about the shops they love and enjoy visiting,” said Orna Mulcahy of The Irish Times. “The shortlist included a brilliant range of shops from remote family run stores to slick new businesses that are aiming for the big time. Independent retailers have not had an easy time in recent years but as the economy improves there are some really interesting new trends in the shops sector. This year, the Best Shops judges and secret shoppers were impressed by the high number of new shops, cafés and salons being nominated. It has also been heartening to see previous winners of the competition being nominated again for great service and innovation. This is the 5th year of the Best Shops competition which is sponsored by AIB. It’s going from strength to strength and we were delighted to crown these 13 very worthy winners.”
The launch, reader nominations, process, longlist, shortlist and winner were documented in detail throughout the competition, in The Irish Times Saturday Magazine and on irishtimes.com.
The Irish Times Best Shops, now in its fifth year, recognises the important part shops play in the community – both rural and urban. The full list of shortlisted shops is available on www.irishtimes.com/bestshops.