Karen Howard

Owner/Managing Director

Team interview

Can you tell us what you do and what your role is with the awards?
I’m Chief Cheerleader and Head of Customer Wow! Ok, seriously, my role is to oversee all aspects of the awards and I have a special interest in two things: 1. Helping to keep on course the specific outcome, which is to highlight to the UK Retail Sector the importance of publicly recognising and rewarding teams and individuals. This is a tough sector to work in and we have exceptional people who by hard work and little return do wonderful work, day in and day out. My mission through all of this is to ensure that, as a business, we get the spotlight on the heroes for all to see. And 2., I also lead the commercial partnerships/relationships with our retail and vendor community.

What makes these awards special?
These awards are 100% driven by a bunch of people who, without compromise, are unified by an excitement and joy that comes from watching leadership teams in retail make changes in the business strategy by investing in their workforce management. We are fully invested in delivering an unforgettable and public validation for our ‘short listers’ and ‘winners’ so they can continue to build careers with pride. No matter what the seniority, we know that successful businesses are built on engaged and cohesive teams. We want to show the world their worth, their contribution, their importance and value. It’s personal to us, and we are passionate about our cause. I think everyone on the 21 September in 2023 saw it, felt it, and got it.

What is your favourite retail moment, initiative, or innovation?
I’m so boring with this answer, I’m actually yawning! It must be the ‘Amazon’ factor. It has changed retail to its core. I love to hate it, I complain about it, I get angry at some of the consequences. I hate that I too often indulge in that lazy ‘one click’ seduction when I should be supporting smaller and more local businesses. The printer cartridge I need is on my desk in a nanosecond; how do I not be impressed with that? It’s changed our lives forever and I hate hate hate it as much as I’m impressed, inspired and in awe!

If TRB was a retail brand, what would be your unique selling point?
At the heart of it all, we’re not your typical retail crew… We redefine the game by throwing in that extra dash of personal magic that goes beyond the expected. Why? Because we genuinely care. We’re not just here to sell stuff; we’re in the business of crafting real human connections. We’re all about good vibes, that’s how we roll – it’s retail, but with a cheeky twist and a whole lot of heart.

If you could choose a famous retail mascot or slogan to represent the team who / what would it be and why?
Ah – It has to be the gorilla from the Cadburys ad a few years ago. I LOVE it! It’s just so hilarious and utterly bonkers. I work with a bunch of absolute bad ass rockstars who always make me laugh. Sorry, it might not be polite to reference a gorilla with the folk I work with, but that gorilla is the most glorious creature that has come from Ad Land!…., and I happen to think I work with the coolest, not forgetting the kindest, bunch of people that ever was!

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Venue and contact


London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP United Kingdom

More about the venue


26 September, 2024




For partnership opportunities:

Karen:  +44 7725 414385  / [email protected]

Patrick: ‭+44 7726 877198‬ / [email protected]


For award, entry, media or people enquiries:
Natalie: ‭+44 774 9326885 / [email protected]


Venue map