The results of the Drapers Independent Awards 2019 were revealed on the 11th September at The Brewery, London, where the elite of independent fashion retail came together for a day of recognition and celebration of the sector...
Colchester based wedding business ‘Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room’ has been celebrating after a winning an impressive national award in London yesterday. The team has scooped the ‘Bridal Independent of the Year’ title at the Drapers Independent awards 2019 where the elite of independent fashion retail came together for a day of recognition and celebration of the sector.
The awards celebrate the achievements of the very best independent fashion retailers from across the UK and Ireland, and the bestselling brands that make them so successful. This prestigious event is one of the most admired and highly respected in the industry. This year the calibre of entries was exceptionally high and demonstrates the wealth of talent and innovation across the independent sector.
Graeme Moran, Drapers head of content – fashion and features, said: “Independent retailers never fail to impress us, and this year’s entries were no different – whether it be their high standard of customer service, engaging store designs, unique mix of brands or innovative use of digital and social media. The standard of entries was particularly high this year, which is remarkable given the challenges facing fashion retail. It demonstrates the talent and innovation across the sector, as well as the passion and resilience of the UK and Ireland’s independent retailers’.
With a staggering 28 award titles now under their impressive business belt since launch in 2005 it is clear to see that Abigail’s Collection & The Grooms Room is performing and delivering excellent results despite a retail downturn! We asked business founder Abigail Neill, 43 what their wedding retail business secret of success is, she said; ‘We’re very blessed to have built an awesome bridal and menswear business, it’s very a personal and private retail space and we strive to ensure our customers feel really special. Together my Husband Rob and I employ an incredibly dedicated, passionate and hard working team. Our customers are our absolute focus and we love what we do, helping our customers plan for the biggest day of their lives is a privilege and despite the long hours it’s an amazing and very rewarding business to be in - we all feel this way. We literally love styling brides and grooms for their weddings, there’s nothing else we’d rather do! I think it’s why we achieve and win so many awards.’
The business serves several hundred wedding customers every year and the team often find that the Bride and Groom want to shop under one roof! Rob Neill business partner and husband says ‘we have a very special wedding retail concept, we offer exclusive VIP appointments for every customer at every appointment, complimentary refreshments in an unbeatable retail and instagrammable environment. Our store is all about celebration and helping our customers to be the absolutely best version of themselves. It’s a really exciting time for us as a business, this year we’ve achieved so much despite the much publicised retail doom and gloom.’
When asked how they felt about winning Abigail enthused ‘To be recognised in this way by Drapers and the Judges is a phenomenal achievement for us! It’s literally a dream come true! We were so proud to be up there with the best of the best and rubbing shoulders with the UK’s leading retail independents. We were not expecting to win at all but were literally bursting with pride when we heard our names called! We’re all so grateful to be recognised at this level for what we do - it really is our passion and we love what we do!’
As the award winner was announced, Drapers Judges described Abigail’s Collection and the Grooms Room by saying ‘The winner of this new award is a solid retailer with impressive and innovative customer experience initiatives – particularly important in the bridal market. It is a longstanding business but one that continues to innovate and never stand still, constantly adding new elements and impressive services in order to continue to flourish.”
The award was presented to business owners Abigail and Robert Neill by Juls Dawson, MD of Just Consultancies and Northern Sole Supply Company.