It was named Supermarket of the Year for the third year running, as well as scooping gongs for Multiple Wine Retailer of the Year, Multiple Beer Retailer of the Year and Drinks Buying Team of the Year.
Judges praised Waitrose for its range, communications and for putting as much focus on the shopping experience as it does on price, making it a good example of a responsible retailer at a time when supermarkets are regularly coming under fire for their drinks pricing policies.
BWS manager Pierpaolo Petrassi MW and buyer Andrew Shaw led the team to accept the awards.
Petrassi said: “We are absolutely delighted with the four awards we scooped. We strive to be different at Waitrose, with industry-leading customer service and value for money being just two important pillars of our business model. ?“The industry’s recognition of our unique approach to retailing beers, wines and spirits in the form of these awards will undoubtedly inspire us to drive forward even more great initiatives in the years to come. Special thanks go to our many suppliers whose loyal support helps us to offer our customers a superb range, of which we’re immensely proud.”?Majestic won OLN’s coveted Drinks Retailing Award for High Street Chain of the Year for the fourth year in a row, while Sainsbury’s was named Multiple Spirits Retailer of the Year and Multiple Cider Retailer of the Year.
Cheshire-based Corks Out won OLN’s prestigious Independent Wine Retailer of the Year award, while Cambridge Wine Merchants was named Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year for the second year running and the Whisky Exchange has made it a hat-trick with three years as Independent Spirits Retailer of the Year.
Naked Wines won Innovation of the Year for its advance bookings system, in which customers can buy wine early – on the vine, in the winery, in bottle or on the ship – with a cheaper price the earlier the commitment to buying is made.
It also picked up the gong for Online/Direct Mail Retailer of the Year.
Rosie Davenport, OLN editor, said: “The Drinks Retailing Awards have become the industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, recognising the innovative approaches made by the best retailers in our sector.
“This year marked the 10th anniversary of the awards, making it an even bigger celebration. All our finalists showed that there is still room for new ideas, even in tough conditions.”
For a full list of winners and pictures from the night see pages 14-17?