Amazon, based in Seattle, has emerged as the top merchandiser to beat as it picked up its second consecutive retailer of the year award for the large-size division at the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner. The Wednesday night event in San Francisco capped NARM's 50th Annual Convention.

Universal Music Group Distribution took home the distributor of the year honor in the large division and Minneapolis-based Electric Fetus kept alive its overall dominance of the merchandiser awards, as it won the small wholesaler of the year award for the ninth time in a row.

In the retail categories, Newbury Comics in Brighton, Mass., won the medium division award for the second year in a row. The small retailer of the year has two categories: Criminal Records in Atlanta won division one, displacing seven-time consecutive winner Twist & Shout in Denver. Music Millennium in Portland, Ore., won division two.

In the wholesaler of the year award category, Baker & Taylor, based in Charlotte, N.C., won the medium division for the fifth time in a row, while Coral Springs, Fla.-based Alliance Entertainment won the large division for the fourth consecutive year.

Moving over to vendors, the two-year old Super D Independent Distribution in Irvine, Calif., picked up the small division distributor of the year award, stopping Redeye from winning its fifth consecutive award for that division. New York-based RED won the medium division.

On the label front, California-based imprints swept the awards as Hopeless Records in Van Nuys won the small division award, while New West Records in Beverly Hills, and Universal Music Enterprises in Santa Monica tied for the medium division, and Rhino in Burbank, won the large division.

Additionally, Billboard Information Group and Nielsen SoundScan won the award for related products and services supplier of the year.

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