The gone but not forgotten award
Winner: Wild Pair
Perhaps the most shocking demise of the past year was women’s clothing store Wild Pair. It went from having 23 stores around New Zealand to closing within three months of going into receivership. Consumers were upset and shocked by the swift expiration of the brand, but perhaps they shouldn’t have been so shocked – its departure was attributed to increased offshore competition.
Runner up: Pumpkin Patch. Though not yet completely disappeared, the childrenswear retailer has been a long-time presence in the New Zealand and many will be sad to see it go.
The retail personality of the year award
Winner: Carvin Streetwear’s Chanelle Purser
The owner of Gore’s award-winning clothing store consistently punches above her weight for a small retailer at the bottom of the South Island. Her store placed second for the overall Supreme National Award at last year’s Top Shop Awards and won the Lower South Island Overall Regional Award. But awards aside, Purser has a warm, larger-than-life personality and is more than happy to share her secrets with her competitors, as demonstrated by her enlightening shop.kiwi talk in February this year. Purser has since stepped back from running her business to pursue a new challenge at NZME, but her passion and knowledge about retail remains.
Runner up: The Warehouse Group’s 65-year-old Des Flynn for his momentous achievement of 50 years in retail, all while maintaining his cheeky good humour and passion for the industry.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 747 December 2016 / January 2017