Convenience chain On The Run (OTR) has been recognised as a top employer with parent company, Peregrine Corporation, winning Retail Employer of the Year at this year’s ARA Australian Retail Awards.

Aldi, which placed as runner up to Peregrine in the Retail Employer of the Year, won 2016 Retailer of the Year, while Wilson Retail won Independent Retailer of the Year.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), said: “This year’s awards field was particularly tough, with not just the highest number of entries in the Awards’ 50 year history, but also the highest quality”.

“Peregrine is a worthy winner of the Frontline Retail Employer of the Year, and it was a tight contest between it and Aldi, who has also done a superb job in supporting and motivating its staff,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Peregrine Corp On The Run
Some of the team from Peregrine Corp at this year’s ARA Australian Retail Awards.

On The Run committed to supporting staff

Mr Zimmerman told C&I Week; “On The Run invests heavily in its people, believing that the best people to run the business are those that work in the business, proven by the high number of managers that started out as team members.”

On The Run Fullarton SA
Peregrine Corporation’s recently opened On The Run (OTR) convenience store at Fullarton, SA.

“Reward and recognition plays an integral part in the Peregrine’s career progression and the overall continuous improvement of its operations. The business’ commitment to supporting its people and store owners, from head office to shop floor is a fantastic example of what it takes to be a top employer,” Mr Zimmerman said.

OTR employs more than 2300 locals and now has 134 stores across South Australia.

Michaela Webster, Peregrine’s COO, said: “We are humbled and thrilled to be nationally recognised and to win an award from the Australian Retailers Association, these awards are the longest running and most prestigious.”

“Peregrine is passionate about delivering a unique Australian retail experience to the community and at the core of this is our team of people who strive on offering exceptional service for every one of our guests.

“This award is in recognition for our amazing team, many of them have contributed from the beginning, including our first and longest serving employees, Hilmi who has been with us for 20 years and manages the Peregrine Warehouse.”

“We also have many examples of employees who started as casuals in our stores and have become executives within the company like Mel Millard who is now our general manager of food but started her career as a sandwich artist at an OTR Subway store,” said Ms Webster.

Big plans

As the winner of the award, Peregrine was recognised as a leading employer of choice within the retail sector and demonstrated a strong track record in staff training and education programs, internal communication, community support programs and corporate social responsibility.

The South Australian family company, which formed in 1984, has grown to become South Australia’s largest private employers and one of the biggest investors in the local economy, employing more than 3300 staff.

The company has recently developed a new convenience concept, opening the first of its new format OTR stores at Fullarton earlier this year. Peregrine is also investing $50 million in a new head office and centre of innovation.

Winners: 2016 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards

Award Winner Runner Up
eftpos Retailer of the Year Aldi Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
ARA Independent Retailer of the Year Wilson Retail (Stormriders & Saltwater Wine) Adreno
Shop for Shops Store Fitout of the Year 1-5 Stores The Sydney String Centre Eliza Blue Fashions
Shop for Shops Store Fitout of the Year 6+ Stores Specsavers Eastland Jeanswest Eastland
Temando Multi-Channel Retailer of the Year Mon Purse The Good Guys
Frontline Recruitment Retail Employer of the Year Peregrine Corporation (On The Run, Smokemart & GiftBox) Aldi
Rest Industry Super Retail Employee of the Year Jacob Purtell, Harris Scarfe David Lai, Fantastic Furniture
FCB Retail HR Rising Star of the Year Paige Willemse, Sussan Group
Pronto Software Retail Innovator of the Year Shoes of Prey Just For Pets
ARA Retail Institute Retail Graduate of the Year Lauren Dodman

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