Five convenience stores in Southampton, the New Forest, Bristol and North West London have been recognised as the retail industry’s ‘highest achievers’ by a national industry awards.

Welcome co-operative stores in Liberty Quays – Southampton, Brockenhurst, Stoke Bishop, Ashurst – Hampshire, and Rickmansworth, have all been shortlisted in the 2021 Retail Industry Awards.

‘Welcome’, the retail franchise offered by Southern Co-op, was also shortlisted for Symbol/Franchise Group of the Year.

Kim Reddick, Commercial Director for the Retail Industry Awards, said: “The quality of entries was particularly strong this year, so just to be shortlisted is a great accolade for those who have been selected.”

Judged by a hand-picked panel of the most experienced and knowledgeable names in the industry, winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony on 21 September.

The shortlisted categories were:

  • Best Use of Technology – Welcome in Liberty Quays, Southampton
  • Independent Community Retailer of the Year and Post Office Retailer of the Year – Welcome in Brockenhurst
  • Post Office Retailer of the Year – Welcome in Stoke Bishop
  • Store Manager of the Year – Jeanette Smith at Welcome in Ashurst, Hampshire
  • Symbol/Franchise Group of the Year – Welcome
  • Trailblazer of the Year – Dilan Patel at Welcome in Rickmansworth

Mike Fitton, Franchise Business Manager at Southern Co-op, said: “Business owners and retail workers gave their all last year – both to their businesses and to their communities. They continued to work hard throughout the pandemic and this dedication has been recognised with these shortlistings.

“So many convenience stores deserve awards for what they went through. They are all winners in our eyes.”

To find out more about Southern Co-op’s franchise opportunities, visit Or for further details on the awards, go to