Drapers are the authority in the UK fashion business and their awards celebrate innovation and talent within the fashion retailing community, identifying who is leading the way in the independent sector.
Pixie, a childrenswear, toys and gifts boutique based in the heart of Hale of Hale village in Cheshire, was nominated in the niche retailer category along with Chateau de Sable, a stylish French designer childrenswear boutique based in Chester. Shoetique, a footwear retailer also based in Hale, was nominated for the multichannel operator category and is a finalist along with seven other stores in the UK.
Gillian Franks, owner of Pixie boutique, said: “This is a prestigious award and we are honoured to be short listed amongst a number of other successful boutique businesses.”
Passionate about making the Pixie shopping experience one to remember, Gillian has developed a product range full of pieces which parents will covet for their children, supported by a programme of customer events that memories are made from.
Gillian continues: “It’s always been my dream to have my own children’s clothing store. As a mum myself I understand the journey you go on and I was determined to create a shopping experience that supported and developed this magical time. I am so thrilled that not only is this dream now coming true, but that my efforts have been recognised by the industry.”
All three stores had to complete a rigorous application process followed by a store visit from the Drapers editorial staff. The criteria for the judges was mix of good financial performance, a well-devised business plan and lively execution, in addition to an excellent looking store which stands out from its competitors.
Stuart Conroy, owner of Shoetique, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Shoetique has been nominated for ‘Best Multichannel Retailer’ at the Drapers Independent Awards. This nomination recognises our growth on line, via market places such as Amazon and eBay and of course our store in Hale, Cheshire. We are looking forward to attending the awards ceremony in September. Fingers crossed!”
Hale offers a unique shopping experience thanks to its exciting mix of premium fashion and international brands, childrenswear, womenswear, lingerie, accessories, toys, games and gifts. A representative from the Hale Business Association, said: “Businesses are still recovering from difficult economic times so it’s great to see that two of our local retailers are being recognised for their achievements. These awards are a great opportunity for us to shine a light on what is going well with the villages’ retail offering and encourage more people to visit.”
Chateau de sable first began trading in Handbridge in late 2009 and in late 2011 expanded to a bigger premise in Chester City Centre on Watergate Street, the UK’s only Chateau de sable shop. The store markets its own French brand of baby and children’s wear from newborn to 12 years.