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What it takes to be a Top Shop finalist

Retail NZ’s Top Shop awards are about celebrating the success of New Zealand retailers. The finalists were announced across June and July, and will go through to a national gala evening in Auckland on September 7, where the overall winners for each category will be announced. We profiled a random selection of finalists.

September 13, 2017 | News

Congratulations to our Top Shop finalists

Retail NZ’s Top Shop awards are about celebrating the success of New Zealand retailers. The finalists were announced across June and July, and will go through to a national gala evening in Auckland on September 7, where the overall winners for each category will be announced. We profiled a random selection of finalists.

Finalist for the Best Small Retailer Award, Otago: Originz, Wanaka.

It’s clear that Originz is an outstanding store – what’s your favourite aspect of it?

Owner, Sandie Squires: In this day of minimalist white design stores filled with higher priced designer pieces (a lot of which are imported) we aim to give our over-seas and domestic visitors a taste of real New Zealand. We are totally about New Zealand-made [products] in a friendly, down-to-earth, Kiwi environment where everything is not only affordable but 100 percent made in New Zealand.

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Finalist for the People’s Choice Award, Innovation Award, Pureplay E-Tailer award, Lower North Island: Adulttoymegastore.co.nz.

Why do you think your business stands out among the other nominations?

Janelle Cheesman, Adulttoymegastore content and public relations executive: As an online adult toy and lingerie retailer, we definitely stand out from the rest! But it’s not about what you sell, it’s about how you retail. We are customer-focused, innovative and passionate about the adult toy industry and ensuring our customers have the best possible experience when they’re shopping with us. When our customers speak, we listen. We regularly survey our customers to better understand what’s most important to them so we can improve our services in every way possible.

Finalist for the People's Choice Award, Lower North Island: Madame Fancy Pants, Wellington.

Tell us about Madame Fancy Pants’ identity as a store – what makes it tick?

Founder, Claire Terry: MFP has always been a store filled with goodies you never knew you needed, but when you see it, you want it! The store ticks along on the wonderful energy of the MFP staff and the great customers that come in to visit.

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Finalist for the Small Retailer OmniChannel Award, Visual Merchandising Award, Best Small Retail Award, Auckland and Northland: Global Baby, Auckland.

How do you feel Global Baby connects with its community?

Anita Affleck, director: We're fast-paced and we respond to what our customers want. As a mum of a three-year-old, with a new baby on the way, I'm very much in tune with our local mums want and need. We run workshops in store which you'd have to say are pretty Auckland, tomorrow it’s 'How to take better photos of your children on your phone' and in two weeks’ time we've got one about 'Healthy and delicious raw vegan snacks for mums' and another, 'Toilet training without the mess and stress'. We LOVE running these events, they're lots of fun, and they fill up our store with lots of lovely mums and bubs. 

Antia and Priya for Global Baby.

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Finalist for the Visual Merchandising Award, Upper South Island: Delicious, Tasman.

We understand Delicious has a pretty special location in an old coolstore on the Mapua Wharf – how has that been incorporated into the store’s identity?

Owner/manager Jenny Marchbanks: We are very fortunate to be located in the old New Zealand Apple and Pear Board Coolstores on the Mapua Wharf, inheriting the wonderful 'bones' of the building and some very special features incorporated by the original creator of Delicious. Our name 'Delicious' is derived from the apple variety of the same name, which was one of the many types of apples that were stored in our building before heading off to their global markets via Mapua Wharf. To enhance the integration of the seaside/wharf location we like to incorporate everything nautical, beachy and bachy in our store.  Mapua continues to be a very special and popular summer holiday destination and we are able to showcase all manner of product to enhance the holiday scene both practical and frivolous!  

Delicious, Tasman. 

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Finalist for the Virtual Merchandising Award, Small Retailer OmniChannel Award for Central North Island: Furnish, Tauranga.

In what ways does Furnish represent its region?

Jaime Winks, owner: The Tauranga region is growing rapidly in both population and industry. The influx of new residents to the area also brings heightened demand for furniture and homewares. As our collections are so vast, we can offer designs that appeal to a wide range of customers instead of pinpointing a certain look and feel. 

Jaime Winks for Furnish.

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Finalist for the People's Choice Award, Auckland and Northland: The Sleep Store, Auckland.

The Sleep Store is such a unique proposition. Tell us a bit about why you opened it.

Louise Tanguay, co-founder: After having my first baby, we were lucky to discover the wonderful book The Happiest Baby on the Block. The techniques use white noise, swaddles and other things not available in New Zealand. After baby number two came along and these techniques and products were still nowhere to be seen in New Zealand, so I decided to use my background in retail and passion for great sleep techniques to launch The Sleep Store. We’ve always been driven by making better sleep possible for all New Zealand families, so we keep a wide price range on our website and offer lots of free articles and sleep advice for our customers.

The Sleep Store.

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Finalist for the Best Small Retailer Award, Otago: Gone Potty, Dunedin.

How do you feel Gone Potty represents the Otago region?

Bridget Paape, owner: Designing more of local iconic images of the area has created considerable interest. A majority of customers are purchasing these gift lines to send overseas or to take home as memoirs of their time spent in New Zealand.

Bridget Paape, Gone Potty. 

Finalist for the Innovation Award, Auckland and Northland: Tea Total Concept Store, Auckland.

We understand the majority of Tea Total’s business is wholesale. What does the retail component add to Tea Total?

Founder and managing director Anna Salek:  Real connection. This element of our business allows us to really connect and engage with our customers whether they are loyal and regular Tea Total tea drinkers or just someone exploring tea for the first time. 
[Also,] sensory experience. It is very challenging to explain to someone over the phone or through an email what a particular tea is like or how it might perform.  Our retail environment allows our customers to let their nose tell them what they like and possibly indicate to them something new they would like to try.  We let the teas do the talking and our fantastic concept store team is always ready to lend a hand if needed.

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Finalist for the People’s Choice Award, Upper South Island: The Christmas Hut, Christchurch.

What makes The Christmas Hut special?

Christabel Blacklock, owner: Our customers are incredibly loyal to our shop, website and especially via Facebook. It’s like a big extended family and we are all so passionate about helping them decorate their homes for Christmas. We love creating that magical feeling and that is exactly what you get when you walk into our store. 
What do you hope to achieve with the nomination or possible win?

We would love to spread the joy of Christmas and the magic as far as we can!

Christabel and Peter Blacklock for The Christmas Hut.

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Finalist for the Small Retailer OmniChannel Award, Upper South Island: Kidd's Cakes & Bakery, Christchurch.

Tell us about the support you’ve had from customers during the Top Shop nominations?

Chad Meehan, owner: We feel that we have the greatest customers around. We have had so many positive comments and congratulations that really helps reinforce the fact that we are doing them proud. We aim to be an institution of the people, for the people, and while there is always room for improvement the positive feedback we receive is humbling.

Congratulations to all the winners of the Top Shop Awards for 2017.             Find out who won here.

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