Australia’s leading retailers have been named at the 2019 ARA’s Australian Retail Awards in Melbourne.
The number of entries to the awards broke a record, marking the highest number in more than a decade.
Vodafone took out the top gong as National Retailer of the Year Award, a category celebrating retailers with more than 10 stores and cutting-edge approaches to retail. Kidstuff and Retail Prodigy Group came in as finalists.
Petstock also took out gold, winning three awards across numerous categories including Excellence in Customer Experience, Retail Marketing and Employer of the Year.
Online women’s apparel retailer Birdsnest swept two awards, winning Independent Retailer of the Year and taking gold for Excellence in Customer Experience.
Bakers Delight also won two awards, winning Franchise of the Year and joining Petstock in the retail marketing category. Vodafone and Brava Lingerie were named finalists.
For e-commerce retailing, YCL Jewels took out the title of Digital Commerce Retailer of the Year while Myer and the Party People came in as runners up.
Birdsnest took out Independent Retailer of the Year while the Party People, Spoilt Gift and Homewares and Brava Lingerie came in as finalists.
Coles Liquor’s First Choice took away the 2019 Store Design and Fit-out of the Year Award, a category recognising retailers leading the way with their brick-and-mortar offering. On the Run, AWPL Brisbane and AWPL in Sydney came in as finalists.
Zero-waste ecofriendly retailer Biome took out the title for 2019 Pronto Retail Innovator of the Year while Specsavers, Myer and George and Matilda Eyecare came in as runners up.
For excellence in customer experience, Birdsnest and Petstock both took the top title for excellence in customer experience, which recognises retailers delivering outstanding customer experience across every platform. Brava Lingerie, Retail Prodigy and On the Run all came in as finalists.
Petstock took out the title of Retail Employer of the Year while Vodafone, Aldi, Retail Prodigy, AWGP and On the Run came in as runners up.
Top people in retail
Esther Laub from the Sydney String Centre was named 2019 Retail Graduate of the Year while Aled Ball from On the Run won Young Retailer of the Year.
Chelsea McIntosh from Spoilt Gift and Homewares was named Retail Businesswoman of the Year.
Rowan Hodge, President of the ARA commended the 2019 winners as the industry’s finest.
“You are a great example of this new wave of retailers that will own the future,” he said.
Russel Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said that the judging panel had a particularly difficult decision to make given the number of outstanding entries.
“As finalists you are all winners in that you have made it through an incredibly high standard of the judging process,” he said.