THE pride of Darlington’s retail sector has been rewarded for its quality in a glamorous awards ceremony.

Businesses from across the town were honoured during a glitzy Oscars-style reception in the Darlington Town Centre Retail Awards last night (Wednesday, December 12).

The contest attracted 155 entries, and saw hundreds of people turn out to see 46 finalists vie for 13 awards after their high standards impressed mystery shoppers.

Loading article content

The Body Shop, in the Cornmill Centre, had double reason to celebrate after it was handed the customer service and national retailer awards.

Darlington-based tycoon and Dragons’ Den star, Duncan Bannatyne, made a guest appearance during the ceremony to present Leggs, in Skinnergate, with the fashion retailer award, with Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, giving the market stall award to Jackson the Butchers.

Mojoa, in Priestgate, received the hair and beauty award, and Thomas Watson was given the e-tailer award, which rewards companies for their successful use of technology to expand the business.

Clervaux Artisan Bakery and Cafe, in Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, received the responsible retailer title.

The awards, held in the Dolphin Centre, are now in their third year and were co-ordinated by Michelle van Vlijmen, from Darlington Town Centre Management, alongside Darlington Borough Council’s Events Team and the Retail Awards Steering Group.

Compered by Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo, the event was sponsored by the newspaper, the Cornmill Shopping Centre, Darlington Town Centre Traders' Association and Darlington Borough Council.

The winners were: Jackson the Butchers, for market stall; The Body Shop, for customer service; Clervaux Artisan Bakery and Cafe, for responsible retailer; Robin Finnegan Jewellers, for specialist retailer; Mojoa, for hair and beauty; Darlington Association on Disability, for professional and service industry; Thomas Watson for e-tailer; Leggs, for fashion retailer; The Tapas Bar, for fabulous food; Boudoir, for independent retailer; Crooners Champagne Bar, for evening economy; The Body Shop, for national retailer, and Uno Momento, for the Shooting Star Award.

See The Northern Echo on Tuesday, December 18, for a supplement featuring all of this year’s winners.