Everyone from pureplay retailers to physical stores can enter the Top Shop awards, says Greg Harford, Retail NZ's general manager for public affairs.
“The awards are about celebrating all that's good about the retail sector in New Zealand, at both a regional and national level,” he says.
"In 2017, the awards have been revamped to focus on what retailers do, rather than what they sell,” he says. “The 11 prestigious new awards focus on the overall customer experience, investment and people, visual merchandising and innovation. There's a special award for individuals who are training in retail, a People's Choice Award and an overall Supreme National award for the very best retailer.”
The last Top Shop Overall National Supreme Award was won by Specsavers Gisborne. Optometrist Nick Whittingham and dispensing optician Tania Richards, who ran the business together, attributed the win to the store’s customer service, which was achieved by a focus on staff training and teamwork.
Entries are grouped by region, before each entrant receives an in-store assessment to see if they measure up. Based on the results of this assessment, a shortlist of up to six entrants per category will be compiled, and then two finalists per category will be announced at regional events which run during June and July.
All finalists will be awarded travel and accommodation to attend the National Retail NZ Top Shop Awards ceremony in Auckland on September 7, and will also be in the running for the National Category Award and the Supreme Award.
The regions are: Otago/Southland; Canterbury; the top of the South Island; the lower North Island; Waikato/ Bay of Plenty and Auckland/ Northland.
Entries are now open on Retail NZ’s website. They close on March 17, and one entry fee allows retailers to enter up to three categories. The full list of categories is:
- Best Small Retailer.
- Best Large Retailer.
- Customer Experience Award.
- Investment in People Award.
- Innovation Award.
- Visual Merchandising Award.
- Up and Coming Retailer Award.
- Omichannel Award.
- Pureplay Etailer Award.
- People's Choice Award.
- Supreme National Award.