Leicester retailer wins FWD award

Leicester Londis owner Raj Aggarwal has been named My Shop is Your Shop retailer of the year at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors' annual dinner.

MSYS chairman Alan Toft praised Raj and his wife Sunita for their work in their local community.

Raj is chairman of the Foxes MSYS Retailer Forum, a group of independent retailers in Leicester who teamed up with Leicester City FC to get club coaches training local youngsters in soccer skills.

He also led a 500-strong group of residents who crowded into Wigston Council's chamber to protest against proposed road closures, forcing the authority to reconsider.

The Aggarwals have raised more than £20,000 for tsunami victims and organise trips to theme parks for local families.

Raj said: "We are pleased to receive this gold medal, not just for our business but because it helps the marketplace and the consumer to recognise the true value of the family-owned business. There are so many independent c-stores, newsagents and rural shops who support their local communities in so many ways and this personal interface just cannot be replaced by the giant retailers."

MSYS's Toft said: "Raj and Sunita are role models for the independent sector - fully involved in their community – and the community responds and keeps the tills ringing."

The other finalists were Steve Robinson, of Best-One in Streatham Hill, south London; Geeta and Charanjit Doal, of Doal's Lifestyle Express in Wheaton Aston, Stafford; and John Mainwood of Premier Store & Post Office in Sedlescombe, East Sussex.