Walter’s our winner!

Walter Bryson

The 2019 SLR Rewards saw Walter Bryson fend off some tough competition from a crop of outstanding stores to be named as Scottish Local Retailer of the Year, on a night when his Londis store collected a further three trophies. His Reward: a trip to Atlanta to find further inspiration at NACS, the biggest c-store trade show on the planet.

by Findlay Stein


It was a great night for Prestwick-based convenience industry veteran Walter Bryson at the SLR Rewards ceremony. Not only was he crowned Scottish Local Retailer of the Year, but his David Bryson & Sons (Londis) store also won the Food-to-go; Forecourt; and Best Refit of the Year gongs.

SLR Publisher Antony Begley said Walter had reinvented his store countless times over the years and that he is “always bang on the money and bang in line with the latest trends”.

“It’s that desire and hunger to keep evolving and growing year after year after year that makes Walter so special,” said Begley. “That and the fact the store is just an absolute belter.”

As a reward for his sterling efforts, Walter will jet off to Atlanta in October for the NACS convention – the world’s biggest convenience retail trade show – courtesy of SLR.

Speaking after the event, which he hailed as “a great night” – and with his four trophies already taking pride of place on his backlit spirits fixture – a modest Walter said the awards were as much down to the store’s staff as to him. He said they “have worked really hard to make it a success and deserve the recognition for all their efforts”.

Walter is “very much looking forward” to his trip to Atlanta, although it won’t be his first visit to a NACS convention. It is a testament to his determination to constantly improve his business that Walter self-funded a trip to attend the 2009 edition in Las Vegas, where he picked up several ideas that were implemented during a subsequent refurbishment.

He will be accompanied by Dan Brown, of Pinkie Farm Convenience Store in Musselburgh, who was named as SLR’s first-ever Young Scottish Local Retailer of the Year.

This new award reflects the vital importance of the next generation of retailers in a time of massive upheaval for the industry.

Dan is “something of a phenomenon,” in the words of Antony Begley. “A ferociously committed man, retail is in his blood and his passion and energy is only matched by his vision and creativity.”

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The evening saw a total of 21 Rewards presented.

Saleem Sadiq was another of the night’s big winners. His trio of trophies represented success in the Beer and Cider; Fresh and Chilled; and Scottish Brands categories.

The awards judges described Saleem’s store as “consistently outstanding” with a fresh and chilled range to rival that of a supermarket. They also praised his commitment to supporting Scottish producers.

Adding Saleem’s haul to wins for Spar Camelon in the Post Office category and Spar Port Dundas for Vaping Retailer of the Year meant that Spar retailers picked up a total of five gongs on the night.

Day Today narrowly missed out on the symbol group bragging rights with a tally of four Rewards. Three of these went to the Day Today Barassie, Troon and Day Today Doonfoot, Ayr stores owned by the retailing partnership of Mandi Duncan and Ross MacPherson.

Nisa bagged a hat trick of wins in the category Rewards. It also basked in the glow of Dan Brown’s win, and that of Abdul Majid’s Outstanding Industry Achievement Reward given in recognition of the former SGF President’s tireless work in furthering the interests of local retailers.

Praising his “decades-long commitment to our trade,” Antony Begley said Abdul was “a man who has honestly and passionately represented Scotland’s local retailers at all levels”.

Fernan Ashiq of Day Today Prestonpans and Emma Morgan of Giacopazzi’s Milnathort also left the glittering bash smiling after sharing the £500 cash prize at the event’s retailer elimination game. Fernan said he was “well chuffed” to be £250 richer but Emma’s smile was arguably that bit bigger; not only was it her birthday but Giacopazzi’s triumphed in the Sustainability Retailer of the Year category.

The event – the only one in the convenience industry to reward retailers with a high-value prize in addition to a trophy – was held once again at the Radisson Blu hotel in Glasgow and hosted by TV and radio presenter Kaye Adams. Entertainment was provided by up-and-coming Glaswegian comedian Marc Jennings.

Congratulating all this year’s winners, Antony Begley said: “It was a pleasure to be able to recognise and reward their fantastic efforts over the last year.”


Scottish Local Retailer of the Year
David Bryson & Sons (Londis)

Reward
Owner and manager Walter Bryson will be jetting off to Atlanta in October to attend NACS, the largest convenience retailing event on the planet. A suitably grand prize for a very worthy winner.

Sponsored by


Young Scottish Local Retailer of the Year
Dan Brown

Reward
Also jetting off to Atlanta in October will be Dan Brown, a remarkable young retailer with huge ambitions – and the work ethic and vision to achieve his ambitious goals.

Sponsored by


SLR Outstanding Industry Achievement Award
Abdul Majid

Hugely respected and much-liked Bellshill Nisa retailer Abdul Majid was recognised for his outstanding commitment to working on behalf of the whole local retailing industry in Scotland. A former President of the Scottish Grocer’s Federation, Abdul has tirelessly pursued the wider interests of the entire sector over almost four decades and has been instrumental in ensuring that the local retailing sector’s voice is heard.

Sponsored by


Beer & Cider Retailer of the Year
Spar Renfrew

Shortlisted

  • Spar, Hillfoot Garage, Bearsden
  • Great Glen Trading Centre, Fort Augustus

Reward
A fantastic meal for 4 at the Drygate Brewery in Glasgow’s East End complete with a guided tour.

Sponsored by


Confectionery Retailer of the Year
Day Today Barassie, Troon

Shortlisted

  • Lifestyle Extra, Motherwell
  • Day Today Express, Stenhousemuir

Reward
An amazing Skwishee machine plus £1,500 worth of syrups.

Sponsored by


Food To Go Retailer of the Year
David Bryson & Sons (Londis)

Shortlisted

  • Wrapchic Londis Castlebank
  • Spar Renfrew

Reward
A spectacular meal for two at Marc Greenway’s restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh.


Forecourt Retailer of the Year
David Bryson & Sons (Londis)

Shortlisted

  • Costcutter Muir of Ord Filling Station
  • Spar Renfrew

Reward
A mountain of fantastic Lucozade Ribena Suntory stock to help the winner drive up their margins this summer.

Sponsored by


Fresh & Chilled Retailer of the Year
Spar Renfrew

Shortlisted

  • Lifestyle Extra Motherwell
  • Spar Garthamlock

Reward
A Healthy Living store makeover and the exclusive services of a Healthy Living RDM all to themselves for a day!

In association with


New Store of the Year
Nisa Motherwell Road

Highly commended

  • Spar Halbeath

Shortlisted

  • Green’s Local, Cardenden

Reward
An experience of a lifetime Red Letter Day.

Sponsored by


Best Refit of the Year
David Bryson & Sons (Londis)

Highly commended

  • Day Today, Prestonpans

Shortlisted

  • Spar Blantyre

Reward
An experience of a lifetime Red Letter Day.

Sponsored by


Community Involvement Retailer of the Year
Uig Community Shop

Shortlisted

  • Day Today Bourtreehill Supermarket
  • Watsons Grocers & Daughters, Moniaive

Reward
£500-worth of HarperCollins textbooks to donate to their local school.


Newstrade Retailer of the Year
Premier Turriff

Shortlisted

  • Spar Renfrew
  • Pinkie Farm Convenience Store (Nisa), Musselburgh
  • Spar West Kilbride

Reward
VIP tickets to the concert of their choice at The Hydro!

Sponsored by


Post Office Retailer of the Year
Spar Camelon

Shortlisted

  • Merchant City Post Office (Spar)
  • Premier Coylton & Post Office
  • Spar Keith

Reward
Expenses-paid weekend to London for two.

Sponsored by


Responsible Retailer of the Year
Day Today Lochside, Ayr

Shortlisted

  • Spar St George’s Cross, Glasgow
  • Family Shopper, Blantyre

Reward
Five places on TLT’s SCPLH personal licensing training courses provided.

Sponsored by


Scottish Brands Retailer of the Year
Spar Renfrew

Shortlisted

  • Day Today Express, Stenhousemuir
  • Spar Hillfoot Garage, Bearsden

Reward
An iPad complete with smart keyboard.

Sponsored by


Soft Drinks Retailer of the Year
Greens of Markinch

Shortlisted

  • Londis Solo Convenience
  • Spar Certas Forfar
  • Spar Renfrew

Reward
A relaxing Fuze Tea “Me Time” Spa Break!

Sponsored by


Spirits Retailer of the Year
Day Today Doonfoot, Ayr

Shortlisted

  • Great Glen Trading Centre, Fort Augustus
  • Londis Solo Convenience
  • Premier Linktown Local, Kirkcaldy

Reward
SLR’s Antony Begley and Findlay Stein at your disposal for a day!

Sponsored by


Sustainability retailer of the year
Giacopazzi’s – Milnathort

Shortlisted

  • Family Shopper, Blantyre
  • Spar Renfrew

Reward
A trip to Norway, the home of Tomra, for an amazing break that will mix work and play.

Sponsored by


Team of the Year
Day Today Barassie, Troon

Shortlisted

  • Ninewells Gift Shop & The Little Gift Shop, Dundee

Reward
Four tickets to an SPFL game of your choice for the forthcoming season.

Sponsored by


Thinksmart Innovation Award
Family Shopper Blantyre

Highly commended

  • Premier Linktown Local, Kirkcaldy

Shortlisted

  • Scotmid Whitehills, East Kilbride
  • Spar Renfrew

Reward
A trip to the sold-out GroceryAid Barcode Festival.

Sponsored by


Vaping Retailer of the Year
Spar Port Dundas

Shortlisted

  • Greens of Markinch
  • Day Today Springhill Store, Shotts

Reward
£500 worth of shopping vouchers!

Sponsored by

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