For the first time, an online merchant won a retailer of the year award, while the Warner Music Group picked up three awards; and Twist & Shout and Electric Fetus kept their streaks alive winning in their categories respectively, for the seventh and eighth years in a row.

In the large retail division, Seattle-based Amazon -- which has helped filled the void left by last year's winner, the defunct Tower Records -- won top honors for the first time. In the medium retail category, Brighton, Mass.-based Newbury Comics stopped Waterloo Records from notching up a three-peat by snatching the award.

The small retail division, which has two divisions, Denver-based Twist & Shout, which now has an astounding seven-year streak going on, won the division won award; division two was won by Bellevue, Wash.-based Silver Platters.

In the wholesale sector, Alliance Entertainment, based in Coral Springs, Fla., kept alive its winning streak picking up the award for the large wholesale category for the third year in a row, while Baker & Taylor in Charlotte, N.C., won the medium division for the fourth year in a row. Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based Electric Fetus leads the entire slate with the most consecutive awards of current winners, as it won the small division wholesaler of the year award again.

In the distributor of the year category, it was almost a Warner Music Group affair. In addition to WEA's second straight victory for the top honor in the large category, its subsidiary Alternative Distribution Alliance won the medium-sized division. But Redeye Distribution picked up its fourth-straight small distro award.

Moving over to the labels, the large division award was share this year between defending champ Rhino Entertainment and Interscope Geffen A&M Records, while Epitaph won the medium-sized label of the year award. New West Records in Beverly Hills, Calif., won the small-label category.

Finally, in the related product and services supplier of the year award category, Nielsen SoundScan, a sister company of Billboard, won for the second year in a row.