Blooms Menswear last night (Tuesday) scooped the headline 'Independent of the Year' honour at the annual Wolverhampton Independent Retail Excellence (WIRE) Awards.

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Businesses from across the city attended the glittering ceremony at Molineux Stadium's WV1 Suite, which played host to around 250 guests.

Nine other awards were handed out, after 27 businesses were shortlisted from nearly 250 entries.

The awards were led by Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with the city council, and supported charity, Promise Dreams, on the night.

Blooms, based in Darlington Street, also won the Excellence in Customer Service Award on the night.

Owner, Tom Vater, said: "I am absolutely elated to win the main award.

"I think it's a fantastic indication of and recognition of all the hard work of the staff at Blooms Wolverhampton.

"Winning the employee of the year award last year was terrific and winning two awards this year has taken it to another level."

City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Roger Lawrence, added: "It is great that these awards came on the same day that the new city centre market opened.

"For some retailers, starting on a market or starting with a pop-up shop is actually a good way of getting going - and then they get into full-time business.

"But it isn't just about retailers it is also about food and beverages, entertainment and all the other areas so crucial for the city centre.

"Independent retailers bring something a bit different, an enthusiasm and the quality of service you get is fantastic."

John Henn, Chair of Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID), added: "The WIRE Awards is a great celebration of the independent retailers and the spirit of Wolverhampton in these challenging times.

"Publicity from events like this means people from outside the city are beginning to realise Wolverhampton has a bit more to offer than they thought.

"All the winners and runners-up can be rightly proud of what they've achieved."

The aim of the awards is to celebrate and praise the entrepreneurial spirit, dedication and hard work of those involved in running and managing a successful independent business, as well as to recognise the loyalty and dedication of the staff that work in this sector.

The headline sponsor was the Mander Centre, Drinks Reception Sponsor was Wolverhampton Racecourse, Entertainment Sponsor was MRS Communications, and the Venue Sponsor was Corporate Wolves and Venue Catering Partner.

The winners and award sponsors were:

  1. Excellence in Customer Service - Blooms Menswear, Darlington Street - sponsored by NCP
  2. Best Presented Premises - Nutmeg, Farmers Fold - sponsored by Casino 36
  3. Community Contributor of the Year - Light House at Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street - sponsored by BCRS Business Loans
  4. Employee of the Year - Luke Russell of Vaal & Vaal, Chapel Ash - Sponsored by Ramada Park Hall Hotel & Spa
  5. Excellence in Team Development - Zaks Hairdressing, School Street - sponsored by Midland Metro Alliance
  6. Employer of the Year - Root 66 of Hall Street, Bilston - sponsored by City of Wolverhampton Council
  7. Best Dressed Retail Store - Diffusion, Lichfield Street - sponsored by Wolverhampton Business Improvement District (BID)
  8. Hospitality and Leisure Business of the Year - The Grand Theatre, Lichfield Street - sponsored by City of Wolverhampton College
  9. The People's Favourite Business - Robinson's Bakery, Trysull Road - sponsored by Signal 107
  10. Independent of the Year - Blooms Menswear, Darlington Street - sponsored by Mander Centre

For a full gallery of images from the awards ceremony visit Type=links;Linkid=10766;Title=Flickr;Target=_blank;.

  • released Wednesday 18 July, 2018