Entries are judged on the type of retail place in order to reflect customer expectations and reduce the importance of having large service charge budgets to achieve excellence. 

Choose one of our six different categories and our mystery shoppers will provide you with a report tailored on delivering the right service for your shoppers.



This category covers shopping places likely to be and/or have:

  • Convenience/needs based
  • A lower customer spend
  • Frequent customers/visits
  • 2 hours or less dwell time
  • Retail mix tailored to local community and catchment
  • Likely to be under 500,000 sq. ft



This category covers shopping places likely to be and/or have:

  • Stand alone
  • A quality restaurants and leisure offering
  • At least 2 anchor stores
  • Infrequent customers/visits
  • 4 hours+ dwell time
  • Wide catchment
  • Likely to be 1 million sq. ft +


Outlet Mall/Factory Outlet.

This category covers shopping places that are likely to be and/or have:

  • Located outside of a town/city centre
  • Connected to a warehouse
  • Offer discounted price items 



This category covers shopping places likely to be and/or have:

  • The focus of retail of a town or city
  • The dominant asset in a top 50 town
  • At least 1 anchor store
  • Weekly or monthly customer visits
  • 2 - 4 hours dwell time
  • Some food, beverage and leisure offering
  • Likely to be 500,000 - 1 million sq. ft

Retail and Leisure Place.

This category covers shopping and leisure places/parks that are likely to be and/or have:

  • Uncovered
  • Out of town
  • Stand alone
  • Big box units
  • Leisure only and in town

Transport Hubs.

This category covers shopping places that are likely to be and/or have:

  • Travel focused
  • Airport terminal
  • Train station hub


ACE Stars.

After completing your submission in one of the main categories, you will be able to submit ACE Star nominations. There is no limit on the number of ACE Stars you can enter and nominees will be judged in their own entity. Your nominees must be in a customer facing role or they could be awarded 0. Please ensure you read the terms and conditions and awards entry guide for further information.

A shortlist of the top 25 scoring ACE Star nominees will be taken forward and further rotas will be required by the beginning of January. All nominees must be made aware that they could be filmed during the second round. 

2018 ACE Star winners included concierge, security and cleaners.


Judges' Choice Award.

Selected from all shortlisted entries, the jury will choose one retail place that stands out from the crowd through their innovative approach to the delivery of high customer service. The jury reserves the right not to award an entrant in this category.


Top ACE.

The 'Top ACE' will be awarded to the best of the best, drawn from our winners across the main categories. 


NEW this year.

We'll be awarding the owner, managing agent and service supplier who score the highest average throughout all entries.