The Excellence Awards celebrate the greatest achievements and innovations in the industry. The programme provides a platform to recognize the people and companies that are driving change.

Our programme is designed to highlight excellence within the sector by looking at a range of corporate activities including deals, business projects and company initiatives, both internal and in the community.

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What is Business Expansion?

Business Expansion is one of our largest categories and looks at the core functions of business operations within the sector.

This consists of any projects that have expanded the company’s footprint in the sector, including: contract wins; launching in new territories; launching new product lines; the acquisition and expansion of facilities and real estate; acquisition of new machinery or other assets; improved logistics; partnerships; and significant staff increases.


A clear theme from this research period has been an increase in partnerships and investment related to in-app purchases as a way to streamline the user experience.

Similarly live shopping events on social media have also increasingly been employed as a successful customer engagement technique.

On the delivery side of things, workplace and other alternative delivery options have continued to rise in popularity. Autonomous delivery systems in particular have become more prevalent as a key part of the ongoing IOT transformation, which has also been seen in the increasing prominence of cloud logistics in the industry.

Finally, the increase in carbon neutral delivery options offers some hope that the industry is genuinely moving towards more sustainable forms of operation and is not only interested in engaging the environmentally conscious crowd on a marketing level.


E-commerce Expansion

Agroecological Solidarity Economy Network of the Kayambi TerritoryExchange SolutionsInstacartSainsbury’s
Association Pamar ChacrinFnac DartyKingfisherShopify
boohooFujitsu FrontechNetwork of Producers of GuayabillasSkechers
CarrefourGrocery OutletNordstromWalmart
ELLE Digital JapanHotel ChocolatPoundland Group

E-commerce has been one of the key ways that retailers were able to stay afloat during the pandemic. This category highlights the companies that have invested in and expanded their offering in this area.


AmazonCompass GroupKroger
AmerisourceBergenCotyMarks and Spencer
ARKETCrocsMeta Platforms
Beijing Hualian GroupGapPandora
Champs SportsHOKAWilson
Co-opHudson’s Bay

This category highlights companies that have expanded their various operational facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, store facilities, distribution centres and various pick up point facilities.

IT Contract

AutoStoreCoupa SoftwareOcado
Bastian SolutionsdunnhumbyOne Door
Blue YonderInMomentSolace

This category includes IT providers that have signed notable contracts related to solutions including touch technologies, customer analytics and procurement solutions among others.


AppleMarks and SpencerUber
Dollar GeneralNext.e.GO MobileWilson Sporting Goods
El Palacio de HierroPajarZalando
Holland & Barrett

The Markets category comprises companies that have expanded their presence in a given geographical area. This includes new market entrants as well as those that have expanded their operations.

Partnership: COVID Response


This category includes companies that have established partnerships related to dealing with the impact of the COVID medical emergency.

Partnership: Customer Engagement

AlbertsonsFetch RewardsSymphony RetailAI
ExtrafarmaOrbit Baby Partners

This category highlights companies that have entered into partnerships related to various customer engagement strategies such as consumer loyalty programs, shopper rewards and various unified customer experience platforms.

Partnership: Delivery Service

Charoen PokphandInstacart
Dada GroupLowes Foods

The Delivery Service category focuses on companies that have expanded their delivery options and capacity through partnerships.

Partnership: Digital Store Service Systems


Digital service systems have been key to the transformation in the retail sector for some time now. This category highlights IT companies that have partnered with physical retail enterprises to digitalise their store experience.

Partnership: E-commerce

AthletaeGrowceryRouses Markets
British Corner ShopMarks & SpencerTHG
Cult BeautyMarquee BrandsWalmart

This category consists of retailers that have increased their online presence through a partnership with an IT company. This could be in the form of contracts for mobile app development, the development of transactional websites or various other online platforms.

Partnership: Franchise

7-ElevenPapa John
Burger & SauceRRVL
Fix Price

This category highlights companies that have entered into franchise agreements.

Partnership: Platform

CitrusAdJD DaojiaSolace
Dada GroupLeon’s Furniture LimitedSøstrene Grene
FlexitimParticleTeamwork Commerce
Hudson’s BayOcado RetailWalmart

This category looks at the formation of innovative retail platforms mostly through partnerships between established retailers and various specialised delivery or IT companies that complement each other’s operations.

Partnership: Private Label

CarrefourMarks & SpencerWaitrose
CliniqueNordic CoopsWalmart
MargiottaSpace NK

This category highlights companies that have signed private label cooperation agreements. This type of commercial partnership is essential to the development of a brand and making the most out of such agreements requires real business skill.

Partnership: ‘Shop-in-shop’

Bed Bath and BeyondKohlTonal
CarharttNordstromTractor Supply
INDOCHINOTommy Hilfiger

This ‘Shop-in-shop’ category includes retailers and various brands that have partnered up to set up dedicated ‘shop in shop’ stores.

Portfolio Expansion

AsdaGivaudanThe Home Edit
Dabur IndiaK18Walmart
FlipkartLean Kitchen NetworkWelcia Holdings

This category consists of companies that have completed notable asset purchases during the research period.