Peak retail body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) today announced jewellery chain Pandora as the 2012 Visa Australian Retailer of the Year and Lenard’s Pty Ltd as The Realise Group 2012 Australian Retail Innovator of the Year.
ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said Pandora and Lenard’s stood out as worthy winners of the two awards, despite tight competition from the many other submissions considered by an expert judging panel.
“Pandora is a well- established retailer and has used product innovation, concept stores and a watertight marketing strategy to expand its brand offering and stand out from competitors. The plethora of advancements across the board made Pandora the clear winner for this prestigious award,” Zimmerman said.
The award for 2012 Visa Australian Retailer of the Year was presented by Visa Australia Country Manager Vipin Kalra to Pandora at this morning’s awards breakfast.
Mr Kalra said: “Congratulations to Pandora for being named the 2012 Visa Australian Retailer of the Year. Pandora represents a true success story, from its humble beginnings being launched in a garage eight years ago, to today where it has over 300 employees and its jewellery is in more than 600 retailers across Australia and New Zealand. At Visa we are passionate about supporting best-in-class performance and excellence in retailing and Pandora demonstrates just that.”
The Award for The Realise Group 2012 Australian Retail Innovator of the Year was presented to Lenard’s by The Realise Group’s Business Development Manager, Kate Gorman.
“We are proud to present an award to a retailer whose innovation launched a system which delivered improvements across the entire business - including operations, profitability, franchisee and staff satisfaction, product range, franchise marketability and customer experience. It’s this type of innovation that helps retail businesses make leaps forward, even in tough market conditions. It delivers efficiencies which obviously impact the bottom line, but perhaps more importantly helps improve the customers' experience of the brand. Minimising costs, providing customers with what they want, when they want it and allowing staff to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time with customers are crucial ingredients in a successful retail operation, and this innovation delivered on all of these.” Ms Gorman said.
Attendees at today’s ARA Australian Retail Awards breakfast were treated to a keynote address from Myer CEO and Managing Director Bernie Brookes, head of what many call a centrepiece of Australian retail.
Mr Brookes said, “As a retailer I was absolutely thrilled to be addressing a room of fellow industry enthusiasts who were not only passionate, but also achieving excellence in Australian retail every day.”
Awards and winners announced at the breakfast are as follows: Visa Australian Retailer of the Year awarded to Pandora, BDO Australian Retail Employer of the Year awarded to Jeanswest, eftpos Australian Independent Retailer of the Year awarded to eyeclarity, The Realise Group Australian Retail Innovator of theYear awarded to Lenard’s Chicken and Deakin University Australian Retail Graduate of the Year awarded to Jo- Anne Oakeshott (Sunglass Hut/ Luxottica) . The ARA also introduced two new awards: eBay & PayPal Australian Multichannel Retailer of the Year awarded to Oroton and FCB Australian Retail HR Practitioner of the Year awarded to Joanne Ryan, Super Retail Group.
Since 1903 the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $240 billion retail sector which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.
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