Retail NZ chief executive Mark Johnston says the annual awards are all about recognising great retail experiences.
“It’s exciting to see so many entrants, including in our new categories,” he says. “We’ve had a huge number of high quality entries from retailers this year, and I want to congratulate all those who have been selected as a finalist. “
The judges’ panel includes Johnston; .99 chair Ben Goodale; footwear designer and recent winner of the Newmarket Rotary young business person of the year award, Kathryn Wilson; associate professor of retail management at Massey University, Dr Jonathan Elms; and stylist Lisa O’Neill.
Elms says that during the judging process, he was looking for a store which captured the diversity and complexity of what the landscape is and what it looks like now. It should be exciting, unique, and involve an attempt to capture the customer’s needs, wants and desires.
He says the retail environment in New Zealand is full of surprises.
“I think there’s going to be a bit of a shake-up but there’s also some really big, established brands that for me are really surprising and really different.”
The winners from the Auckland regional finals will be announced at an awards evening on July 30, and will go forward to the national finals. The other regional finalists will be announced over August and September, with finals concluding in a gala dinner in Christchurch during September.
The finalists are listed on Retail NZ’s website here.