The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

BA Encourages Bookshops to Enter Britain’s Best Small Shops Award

Best Small Shops Competition 2020

The Booksellers Association is encouraging booksellers to enter the Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2020 awards, as a new category is included for this year to recognise innovative independent retailers that have adapted their business to combat the impact of Covid-19.

The BA is supporting the Britain’s Best Small Shop award in celebrating indie retailers, of which the BA’s independent bookshop members are such an integral part.

The Britain’s Best Small Shop award is run by the Independent Retailer’s Conferation (IRC), a group of multi-sector trade organisations representing over 100,000 indie retailers throughout the UK, including the Booksellers Association. In 2018 the award was won by The Mainstreet Trading Company, and in 2019 Bookish in Crickhowell was shortlisted.

The annual competition highlights the best of Britain's independent retail sector, celebrating the commitment and creativity of independent retailers and the central role they play in their local communities. Celebrating the return of Indie Retail to UK high streets and shopping parades, this year the judges will be seeking entries from independents that are demonstrating specific innovation to combat the impact of COVID-19 in a new award category.

Meryl Halls, MD At the Booksellers Association, said: “Bookshops have always had a great showing in the Best Small Shops competition, and this year, more than ever, we want to shine a light on the incredible work being done by indie retailers in extremely challenging circumstances, where they have been demonstrating innovation, creativity, community spirit, resilience and energy, taking their place on the front line of the slow return to normality – and no indie retailers are more creative, entrepreneurial, inventive and smart than booksellers.  We wish our members well in their applications for this prestigious and impactful award.”

Mark Walmsley, Chair of the IRC, said: “Despite the challenging retail environment, there is bountiful evidence that people value and believe it is important to support their local independent retailers. These shops are at the heart of communities up and down the country, offering a meeting place, not to mention choice, diversity, innovation and genuine customer service.”

Entries for all award categories in this year’s competition close on September 11th.
Retailers are also encouraged to add themselves free of charge to ‘We Are Open’, the IRC’s online map and directory of independent shops. Consumers can simply enter their postcode to discover independent retailers open in their area or use the online search function to find the best place locally to buy the products they need today. Retailers can add themselves to the directory now at:
For more information about the Best Small Shops competition, click here: