We asked you tell us about your favourite shops again this summer, and you did in your thousands. More than 31,000 entries poured in praising independent shops and cafes
with great service and stock all over the country. A friendly greeting; a well-laid out space; a feeling that there is no pressure to buy and yet an inability to walk out the door without something – these were top of the list when you told us about the shops you love, from the wilds of Co Cork to the tip of Co Donegal.
The Irish Times Best Shops competition is a chance for customers to show their appreciation of the army of people who own and run small independent businesses, and to let others know how great they are. It's also an opportunity to highlight businesses that are making a difference in niche markets or drawing in new customers to a neighbourhood. Once again it's heartening to see that small, independent shops are surviving and thriving by giving customers what they want.
A big thank you to everyone who nominated shops online, by letter, card and email. It was a tough job for the judges, Simon Pratt of Avoca; retail consultant Eddie Shanahan; John Redmond, creative director of Brown Thomas; fashion editor Deirdre McQuillan, journalist Alanna Gallagher and Robbie Doherty of the competition sponsor AIB Merchant Services. We hope you like our winners. Now, go forth and shop!
Best shop window:
no award given