Type=image;ImageID=13479;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Celebrating success in the WIRE Awards;TitleClass=strong;
Type=image;ImageID=13480;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Outside Blooms Menswear;TitleClass=strong;
Last month's inaugural Wolverhampton Independent Retail Excellence (WIRE) Awards saw 12 gongs handed out, after 24 businesses were shortlisted from 140 that made 359 entries across all categories.
The awards were led by Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with the city council.
Rupinder Kaur Singh, who has worked at Blooms Menswear in Darlington Street, for 13 years, scooped the Employee of the Year honour (sponsored by Signal 107), after being nominated by her boss.
She said: "When I realised I'd been shortlisted, and these were the very first awards of this kind for Wolverhampton, I was so happy.
"I was just doing my job and it was enough to be shortlisted - it was such a shock when my name was called out.
"I can't believe something like this has happened to me. It's so unexpected and my family is really proud of me."
Blooms Menswear were also finalists in the Independent Retailer of the Year category and Manager, Tom Vater, added: "I put Rupinder forward because she is excellent and everything she does, she excels in.
"She puts the business before everything, and she runs the entire alteration business.
"When Rupinder started with us she knew sewing but not tailoring, she learned her trade here and is now considered one of the top tailors within the city - if not the West Midlands.
"As a manager, she has taken the alteration business to a different level in terms of efficiency and quality - and it is a result of her hard efforts that we have achieved success within that department.
"It means a lot to win a WIRE Award. I've been here for 36 years and to be recognised in this way is flattering for any business within the city centre."
The other winners and award sponsors were:
- Excellence in Customer Service - Party Angels, Cannock Road, sponsored by NCP
- Retail Personality of the Year - Yasmine Abdelaal, Nutmeg, Farmers Fold, sponsored by Ramada Park Hall Hotel
- Excellence in Staff Development - Rudell the Jewellers, Darlington Street, sponsored by Black Country Chamber of Commerce
- Apprentice or Trainee of the Year - Sarah Dean, ROOT 66 Hair Care, Hall Street, Bilston, sponsored by City of Wolverhampton Council
- Best Dressed Shop - Room by Room, Merridale Road, sponsored by Yarrington
- Hospitality & Leisure Business of the Year - A Park View Hotel, Park Road, sponsored by City of Wolverhampton College
- Community Retailer of the Year - Wild Bytes Café & Lounge, Darlington Street, sponsored by BCRS Business Loans
- Most Improved Business of the Year - Domino Crafts, Cleveland Street, sponsored by Wolverhampton Partners in Progress
- New Business of the Year - Slater's Bar, Queen Street, sponsored by Wolverhampton BID
- Independent Retailer of the Year - Rudell the Jewellers, Darlington Street, sponsored by Mander Cantre
- Our Favourite Retailer of the Year (voted by the public) - Batteries Not Included, Wulfrun Centre, sponsored by Express & Star
- released: Wednesday 9 August, 2017