HomeNEWSRetailers celebrate at the Newmarket Business Excellence Awards

Retailers celebrate at the Newmarket Business Excellence Awards

A Mini dealership has driven away with the 2015 ANZ Newmarket supreme award. Mini Garage Auckland sales manager Jonny Highton says he felt the award was down to his 14-strong team’s different approach to car retail.“We’re a bit of a crossover between a normal car yard and a premium retail experience.”

The Mini dealership opened on Broadway in June last year, and is a division of Auckland City BMW. Highton says it represents a total investment of more than $10 million, but says the outlet has already started to see “strong results”, with year-on-year Mini sales up by more than 20 percent.

Mini Garage Auckland is the largest Mini dealership in the Southern Hemisphere Highton says. He says the team has put a lot of emphasis on getting various social groups into the Mini space, hosting private functions and British-themed parties. The site also boasts a popular café.

Mini Garage Auckland was presented with the top award at the Newmarket Business Association’s annual Newmarket Business Excellence Awards at the Auckland Museum on Friday. The black tie event was chaired by the association’s chief executive Mark Knoff-Thomas.

Judges for the business awards included Jucy chief executive Tim Alpe; Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry chief executive Michael Barnett; Icebreaker chief executive Rob Fyfe; The Icehouse chief executive Andy Hamilton; ANZ regional manager business banking for Auckland East Mark Hill-Rennie; James Pascoe Group director Anne Norman and professor of retailing and head of department of marketing, advertising, retailing and sales, Andrew Parsons.

Knoff-Thomas says this year’s awards were the association’s most successful yet, saying the tickets sold out before they even went on sale. Newmarket is a suburb of Auckland which contains around 1,300 businesses.

Shoe designer Kathryn Wilson won the Newmarket Rotary young business person of the year award. She opened her Newmarket branch in October, and says she waited for the right site but felt it was important to have an outlet in Newmarket as it is “the ultimate shopping district”.

Her store, the third Kathryn Wilson branch, is on Osborne St near an outlet of longtime friend and fellow designer, Juliette Hogan.

Wilson says her bricks and mortar stores are key to the brand.

“To me, it’s all about the team you have in there, the culture and staff… You can build the brand but it comes down to customer service and what it feels like when the customer comes in the door.”

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The results for the awards are:

Best customer experience: Best Ugly Bagels

2degrees best small / medium business of the year award (non-retail): Mini Garage Auckland

Multi-Media Systems best medium / large business of the year award: GrabOne

Best café / restaurant of the year award: Carbon Garage

Marley Loft best restaurant / bar of the year award: Burger Burger

Westfield Newmarket international retailer of the year award: I Love Ugly

Vend retailer of the year award: Modes

Newmarket Rotary young business person of the year award: Kathryn Wilson of Kathryn Wilson

Centrepiece & Pacific Linen employer of the year award: Alpha Recruitment

Auckland War Memorial Museum most sustainable business of the year award: I Love Ugly

2015 people’s choice award: Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear

2015 ANZ Newmarket supreme winner award: Mini Garage Auckland

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