Some of the country’s leading retailers were recognised for their contribution to the industry on Thursday morning at the 2018 Eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards.
At the ARA’s annual Australian Retail Awards, event organisers asked the retail industry to look beyond the shop front, as online and digital experiences become a vital part of the customer journey.
Hosted by Channel 9 presenter, Livinia Nixon 500 retailers and industry insiders attended the breakfast function to celebrate the latest achievements of their fellow retail professionals.
Russell Zimmerman, the executive director of the ARA spoke of the calibre of the award nominees for this year’s event, highlighting the exciting times ahead as the industry moves towards the digital age.
“As online and global markets continue to challenge the retail industry, the variety of small, medium and large retailers capturing this year’s award titles showcases the diverse and extraordinary talent we have in Australian retail,” he said.
500 people flocked to Myer’s Mural Hall for Thursday morning’s awards. Image Credit: The Australian Retail Association.
Among the panel of judges was Bernie Brookes, an Adjunct Industry Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology, who reiterated Zimmerman’s excitement for the future of the retail realm.
“With the continual influence technology plays in the retail sector, the 2018 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Award winners represent the outstanding leadership and innovative qualities required to succeed in a thriving and competitive industry,” Brookes said.
He also made a special mention to the retailers “who continue to shift the retail realm forward.
However, perhaps the most notable aspect of Thursday morning’s awards presentation was the keynote speech from Naomi Simson. Taking the stage in her iconic red clothing, the founding director of RedBalloon and face of Network Ten’s Shark Tank
, spoke to the audience about the importance of providing the best possible customer service.
Asking the 500 attendees to put away their phones, she joked about the early days of RedBalloon, and the first customer she received after more than two months of business. Excited over the $9 margin she made on the sale, she called the person up to ask them about her experience. Drawing laughs from the crowd, she recalled the moment she was told her website was crap and that her first customer had made his purchase “accidentally”.
Not deterred by her initial setbacks, she has gone on to become the most followed Australian businessperson on LinkedIn.
Feeling inspired by Simson’s humble story, the ARA proceeded to present this year’s award winners, with online party supply store, The Party People
, cleaning up, receiving more awards than any other retailer at the event. The Party People were awarded the 2018 Roy Morgan Retail Leader of the Year, The 2018 Independent Retailer of the Year, and the esteemed, 2018 Online Retailer of the Year.
This year’s National Retailer of the Year award went to PETstock.
2018 eftpos ARA Australian Award Winners
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Image credit: The Australian Retail Association.