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Shine on: Introducing the Top Shop winners

Even the most extravagant window display had nothing on the glittering splendour of Retail NZ’s 30th Top Shop awards. A wide range of industry participants, from sales assistants to chief executives, raised a glass to the ongoing health of the retail industry at the awards, which were held at Auckland’s Sky City on September 7 after an exhaustive judging process.

October 18, 2017 | News

Even the most extravagant window display had nothing on the glittering splendour of Retail NZ’s 30th Top Shop awards. A wide range of industry participants, from sales assistants to chief executives, raised a glass to the ongoing health of the retail industry at the awards, which were held at Auckland’s Sky City on September 7 after an exhaustive judging process. 

Each finalist entered the national Top Shop awards after winning their category in one of six regional events held earlier in the year. The regions were Otago/Southland; Canterbury; the top of the South Island; the lower North Island; Waikato/ Bay of Plenty and Auckland/ Northland.

Hawke’s Bay jeweller Grieve Diamond Jeweller from Hastings was named as New Zealand's supreme Top Shop. The business also scooped up the Small Retailer Omnichannel Award.

"Tonight's award is recognition of the outstanding omnichannel experience offered by Grieve Diamond Jeweller and the fantastic customer experience in the store,” says Retail NZ's general manager for public affairs Greg Harford. "Grieve Diamond Jeweller was first established in 1934, so has a long history, and Hastings should be proud that one of its iconic retailers has received a national honour.”

The last Top Shop Overall National Supreme Award was won by Specsavers Gisborne in 2015. 

Omnichannel Award - Small Retailer – Sponsored by Mastercard.
Winner: Grieve Diamond Jeweller, Hastings
Runner-up: Global Baby, Epsom, Auckland
Highly commended: Beauty Bliss, Wellington

When fourth-generation retailer James Griffiths collected the Top Shop Supreme Award for Grieve Diamond Jeweller, he had 83 years of retail history behind him.

The Hastings jewellery business was established in 1934 by James’ maternal great-grandfather Herbert James Grieve. Grieve opened and closed stores in Gisborne, Auckland and Whanganui before settling Grieve Diamond Jeweller in Hastings, where it’s owned by James’ parents Robert and Barb Griffiths.

Robert and James manage the business together with Barb and James’ wife Kyleigh. The family is assisted by three full-time sales professionals, an administrator and a jeweller, who has been with the company for 25 years.

Grieve Diamond Jeweller remains in its original location, although at 250 square metres, it’s about half the size it was 30 years ago. Before the store housed a jewellery store, a cake shop and milliner shared the premises.

Robert says old-fashioned jewellery retailing required a lot of floor space, noting that it was common for the business to have up to 20 silver tea-sets on display at any one time. A large range of Lladro and Capodimonte was also stocked.

These days, Grieve Diamond Jeweller still offers giftware and crystal, plus watches and branded jewellery, but its main focus is on fine jewellery. One of its strengths is its ability to design and make fine pieces of bespoke jewellery in-house, and it can also directly import gemstones such as diamonds, sapphires and rubies from overseas. Many years of industry relationship-building has allowed Grieve Diamond Jeweller to establish strong sourcing contacts.

From time to time, rings dating back to Herbert’s era are still brought into the store in their original boxes.

James attributes Grieve Diamond Jeweller’s success to the team’s dedication to customer service. Training is an ongoing affair, supported by an extensive range of online training programmes through the Showcase buying group. Visiting sales reps also provide in-house training on their products.

Investment into digital assets has become important in recent years, with a strong website and social media presence supporting the business’s bricks and mortar presence. Recently, a pair of diamond earrings have been sold into northern Canada and a diamond ring into Latvia through the website.

James and Robert agree that putting all the pieces of the business together takes constant work, but it’s very satisfying when everything is working in harmony and achieving great results.

 “You’re always learning all the time, but it is a fabulous industry to work in,” says Robert. “The bulk of the items we sell are bought by somebody to give to somebody else, so that’s a really nice thing to be part of.”

Pearls of wisdom from the Top Shop category winners

Customer Experience Award – Sponsored by NZI.

Winner: John Franich Jewellers, Westgate, Auckland
Runner-up: Cruiseabout, Wellington
Highly commended:  Kilt, Dunedin

Jenni Franich, director of John Franich Jewellers, says: “The team here at John Franich Jewellers are delighted to have recognition in our ongoing commitment to the customer experience.”

Best Small Retailer Award – Sponsored by Westpac.

Winner: Global Baby Epsom
Runner-up: John Franich Jewellers, Westgate, Auckland
Highly commended: Beaukayes Florist, Napier

Visual Merchandising Award – Sponsored by Vodafone.

Winner: Global Baby, Epsom
Runner-up: Wallace Cotton, Napier South
Highly commended: Wallace Cotton, Merivale

Anita Afflick, director of Global Baby says: As a team, we were absolutely thrilled to be named as finalists in three categories, and we couldn't really believe it when we won two awards! We have only been in business for three years, I purchased the store when it wasn't doing too well, and turning it around has been really, really hard work! 

To be recognised with the awards meant a lot to us. I'm really proud of my team, and what we've built together. They're totally on board with my vision and goals for Global Baby, and the team has worked so hard to make everything happen. Attending the awards with all six of our team members was a lot of fun, and a great way to celebrate the team's success!

Up & Coming Retailer Award – Sponsored by ServiceIQ.

Winner: Abbin Peter - Z Carlton Corner, Christchurch
Runner-up: Amber Ledingham, Z Hornby, Christchurch
Highly commended: Tiffany Aranui, Resene Rangiora and Kelly Entwhistle, Ziera Otaki

Hamish Wright of Hattrick Services says:  Abbin Peter has been fuelling his career over the years by upskilling on the job, and so far the ambitious professional has gained three nationally recognised ServiceIQ retail qualifications.

Hattrick Services is really proud to have two of its site managers recognised for their talents in the retail industry. Abbin Peter and runner-up Amber Ledingham are outstanding examples of young people wishing to achieve in a very competitive sector. Their awards will inspire our other young site leaders within our business to strive for higher goals to carry them forwards in their careers. Our thanks to ServiceIQ for their valued sponsorship and support in retail education

People's Choice Award - Sponsored by NZME.

Winner: Madame Fancy Pants, Wellington
Runner-up: House of Décor, Onehunga
Highly commended: Florist Ilene, Hamilton

Claire Terry, director and designer for Madame Fancy Pants: Winning the People’s Choice award is a great honour, the people are why I have a retail store and why my team and I aim to provide a warm, inviting, and exciting store to visit time and time again. The People’s Choice Award is a fabulous one to take home because it is purely based on what the folks out there are thinking and if they think that we are doing a great job - turns out we might really be a bit fancy after all!

Innovation Award – Sponsored by Eftpos New Zealand.

Winner: Lush, Mt Wellington, Auckland
Runner-up: Wellington Zoo Shop
Highly commended: Wildzone Gift Shop, Auckland Zoo

Investment in People Award - Sponsored by Z.

Winner: The Agrodome, Rotorua
Runner-up: Spark, Whanganui
Highly commended: Streeter & Turner Travel Associates, Christchurch

Catherine Wright, The Agrodome retail manager says: To us, nothing could have been better than winning the award for ‘Investment in People’. This was testament to the hard work put in by the retail team to ensure they don’t just have a ‘job’, but have a career.

We are also privileged to be part of Ngāi Tahu Tourism, who provide a range of great courses including Te Reo, Performance Edge, Challenging Situations, etc. Along with the support and training provided by Service IQ, staff development is never far from anyone’s mind.

Best Large Retailer Award - Sponsored by UnionPay.

Winner: Kilt, Napier
Runner-up: Kilt, Dunedin
Highly commended: Glengarry, Kingsland

Omnichannel Award - Large Retailer - Sponsored by Visa.

Winner: Kilt, Napier
Runner-up: Kilt, New Plymouth
Highly commended: Flight Centre High Street, Auckland

Emma Sey of Kilt Napier says: “Kilt is exceptionally proud and honoured to have won the Best Large Retailer Award and the Large Retailer Omnichannel Award – as well as receiving Runner-Up in both of these categories and highly commended for the Supreme Award.  Winning these awards but also being nominated to begin with lets us know that we are on the right track when it comes to what we offer. This also helps to strengthen consumer trust not only in the quality of our product, but also in the experience our customers have wen shopping with us.”

Pureplay E-tailer Award - Sponsored by NZ Couriers.

Winner: The Sleep Store, New Lynn
Runner-up: AdultToyMegastore.co.nz, Wellington
Highly commended: Pippy, Hamilton

James Faulkner of The Sleep Store says: We’re overjoyed to win the Top Shop award for best online retailer! We’ve been a pureplay online store since 2006. Over the last 10 years our family business has grown from working out of our garage at home to a dedicated warehouse in New Lynn, expanding our range and small team of dedicated staff along the way.

We take great pride in the service, range and resources we offer our customers. Our customers seem to appreciate what we provide for them too, and recently voted us the winner in the Best Online Retailer and the Best Baby Store categories in the recent OHbaby! awards. Winning the Top Shop award is the cherry on the top and it’s fantastic to be recognised as the leader in the online space by Retail NZ.

Top Shop finalists 2017

Best Large Retailer Award - Proudly sponsored by UnionPay.

Flight Centre Dunedin - Lower South Island

Kilt Dunedin -Lower South Island

Flight Centre Timaru - Upper South Island

McKenzie & Willis, Riccarton, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Kilt Napier - Lower North Island

Glengarry Thorndon - Lower North Island

Kilt New Plymouth - Central North Island

Kilt Taupo - Central North Island

Kilt Ponsonby - Upper North Island

Glengarry Kingsland - Upper North Island

 

Best Small Retailer Award - Proudly sponsored by Westpac.

Gone Potty, Dunedin - Lower South Island

Originz, Wanaka -Lower South Island

Renaissance, The Art of Beauty, Sumner, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Eye Bright Country Store, Richmond, Tasman - Upper South Island

Ellen G, Lower Hutt - Lower North Island

beauKayes florist, Taradale - Lower North Island

Fly & Gun Hunting & Fishing, Taupo - Central North Island

Snapshot, Hamilton - Central North Island

Global Baby, Epsom - Upper North Island

John Franich Jewellers, Westgate - Upper North Island

 

Customer Experience Award - Proudly sponsored by NZI.

Hannigan & Greive Travel Associates, Dunedin - Lower South Island

Kilt Dunedin -Lower South Island

Streeter & Turner Travel Associates, Merivale, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Corcovado, Christchurch Central - Upper South Island

Cruiseabout Wellington - Lower North Island

Kilt Sample Sale Seconds, Whanganui - Lower North Island

The Agrodome, Ngongotaha - Central North Island

Kilt New Plymouth - Central North Island

John Franich Jewellers, Westgate - Upper North Island

Kilt Ponsonby - Upper North Island

 

Innovation Award - Proudly sponsored by Eftpos New Zealand.

Thrillzone - Queenstown - Lower South Island

Hair Art & Beauty, St Albans, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Wellington Zoo Trust - Lower North Island

Adulttoymegastore.co.nz, Wellington -Lower North Island

Showcase Jewellers Te Awamutu - Central North Island

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Mt Wellington - Upper North Island

Tea Total Concept Store, Rosedale - Upper North Island

Wildzone gift shop at Auckland Zoo, Western Springs - Upper North Island

 

Visual Merchandising Award - Proudly sponsored by Vodafone.

Thrillzone - Queenstown - Lower South Island

Perriam, Wanaka - Lower South Island

Wallace Cotton, Merivale, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Delicious, Mapua, Tasman - Upper South Island

Wallace Cotton Napier South - Lower North Island

Wallace Cotton Wellington - Lower North Island

Furnish, Tauranga - Central North Island

Wallace Cotton, Cambridge - Central North Island

Global Baby, Epsom - Upper North Island

John Franich Jewellers, Westgate - Upper North Island

 

Investment in People Award - Proudly sponsored by Z.

Flight Centre Remarkables Park, Queenstown - Lower South Island

Hannagan & Greive Travel Associates, Dunedin -Lower South Island

Streeter & Turner Travel Associates, Merivale, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Spark Blenheim - Upper South Island

Cruiseabout Wellington - Lower North Island

Spark Whanganui - Lower North Island

Cruiseabout New Plymouth - Central North Island

The Agrodome, Ngongotaha - Central North Island

Flight Centre High Street, Auckland Central - Upper North Island

Vuksich & Joll Travel Associates, Mt Eden - Upper North Island

 

Up & Coming Retailer Award - Proudly sponsored by ServiceIQ.

Christopher Kay, Warehouse Stationery South Dunedin - Lower South Island

Ed Matthews, Z Andy Bay -Lower South Island

Lokendra Bista, Z Stoke - Upper South Island

Abbin Peter, Z Carlton Corner - Upper South Island

Amber Ledingham, Z Hornby - Upper South Island

Tiffany Aranui, Resene Rangiora - Upper South Island

Tara Olds, Resene Timaru - Upper South Island

Lania Rock, Trenery Wellington Airport - Lower North Island

Kelly Entwhistle, Ziera Otaki - Lower North Island

 

Pureplay E-Tailer - Proudly sponsored by New Zealand Couriers.

Adulttoymegastore.co.nz

www.Pippy.co.nz

Cadenshae.co.nz

Thesleepstore.co.nz

 

Small Retailer OmniChannel Award - Proudly sponsored by Mastercard.

Thrillzone - Queenstown - Lower South Island

Kidd's Cakes & Bakery, St Albans, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Grieve Diamond Jeweller, Hastings - Lower North Island

Beauty Bliss, Wellington - Lower North Island

Furnish, Tauranga - Central North Island

Global Baby, Epsom - Upper North Island

Urban Dogs, Rosedale - Upper North Island

 

Large Retailer OmniChannel Award - Proudly sponsored by Visa.

Kilt Dunedin - Lower South Island

Flight Centre Dunedin -Lower South Island

Flight Centre Timaru - Upper South Island

Kilt, Woolston, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Kilt Napier - Lower North Island

Flight Centre Taranaki Street, Wellington - Lower North Island

Kilt New Plymouth - Central North Island

Kilt Taupo - Central North Island

Flight Centre High Street, Auckland Central - Upper North Island

Glengarry Kingsland - Upper North Island

 

People's Choice Award - Proudly sponsored by NZME.

Thrillzone - Queenstown - Lower South Island

Z Andy Bay, Dunedin -Lower South Island

The Christmas Hut, Northcote, Christchurch - Upper South Island

Annie's Country Quilt Store, Tinwald, Ashburton - Upper South Island

Madame Fancy Pants, Wellington - Lower North Island

Adulttoymegastore.co.nz, Wellington - Lower North Island

Florist ilene, Frankton, Hamilton - Central North Island

Last Season, Frankton, Hamilton - Central North Island

House of Decor, Onehunga - Upper North Island

The Sleep Store, New Lynn - Upper North Island

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