The Retailer of the Year committee were out in force in St Albans to drum up support for the competition.

Cllr Roma Mills, Eric Roberts of the St Albans Civic Society, Cllr Beric Read and Review editor Victoria Birch joined forces to publicise this year’s event.

The competition, which rewards retailers in the city centre, began nearly ten years ago as the brainchild of Cllr Roma Mills, who represents Batchwood, and Martin Buhagiar, a former editor of the Review.

Together they built the competition up with the support of the St Albans Civic Society, the Chamber of Commerce and the District Council, with the aim of supporting and promoting the city centre.

The competition did not run last year as they lost two members of the group and a break “was needed”, however, it is making a comeback once more again this winter.

It has now been announced that the Federation of Small Business will be sponsoring the Specialist Shops category.

How to get involved:

A text entry option has been launched for readers to nominate their favourite.

Text the word ‘retailer’ followed by the name of your selected trader to 80360. Please note texts cost 10/12p plus your normal operator text charge.

This year, people can nominate their top market trader from October 11 onwards, along with their top fashion and accessories outlet from October 18.

The specialist shops category will be open from October 25, hair and beauty will be open from November 1 and people can also vote for their favourite food and drink shops from November 8.

Festive pubs will be the sixth category, with nominations opening on November 15.

The closing date for nominations will be on Friday, November 24.

Mystery shoppers will visit businesses which have received nominations between November 27 and December 11, before the shortlist will be announced on January 2.

A gala awards night will be held at the Alban Arena, in St Albans, on January 29.

Send your nominations in the post to Retailer of the Year Competition, Observer House, Caxton Way, Watford Business Park, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0NF or email