Best Shops in Ireland 2016: the categories

We want to hear your personal stories about why a certain shop is special to you

 

The Irish Times Best Shops 2016 competition launches today. For the fifth year running we’re looking for businesses that have really captured the imagination of you, the reader, and how they have impressed.

This year we have changed the categories slightly. Best Bookshop is back and we’ve replaced best shop window with a category called best visual merchandising.

This can be a great stand or blackboard, a beautiful array of flowers or an inventive way of working a counter. We want to see images of what you’re talking about, so email, tweet or Facebook us shots of what makes you want to buy.

We’ve added a best family-run category to the competition to reflect the continuity of service these businesses bring and how the next generation helps them evolve.

In all the nominations we want to hear your personal stories about why a certain shop is special to you. Last year we had some 31,000 nominations from readers, an increase of about 15 per cent on 2014.

The categories - for Best Shops 2016 we are looking for your nominations in:

Best food/drink shop: Think cheese shop, fish shop, deli, butchers, bakers, ice-cream, wine shop or off-licence.

Best cafe/teashop: Where do you go to watch the world go by with an excellent cuppa?

Best fashion shop: Tell us where to find the best clothes, shoes or accessories.

Best gift/craft shop: Where do you go to buy something special for a friend?

Best design/homewares: Your favourite place to shop for house and home.

Best salon: Blow-dry or Brazilian, beard trim or brow tint, tell us about the best in town.

Best bookshop: Where do you like to browse and buy and why?

Best specialist shop: Hats, hardware, haberdashery, dry cleaners, clocks, jewellery, toys, pharmacy, cobbler, corner shop, stationer or sweetshop. Any shop you like.

Best visual merchandising: A great shop window, or imaginatively stacked stock. Tell us of a good-looking shop that’s impressed.

Best family-run shop: Mom and pop, sons and sisters, fathers and daughters – who runs a good business?

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