Here’s part three of the Retail Yearbook series, which includes Most Rock’n’roll Brand, Best Brand Mascot and the Phoenix Award.
Most rock’n roll brand – Winner: iLabb
Runner-up: Container Door
Even among other streetwear and sports gear companies, there’s no corporate identity quite like iLabb’s. The 10-year-old apparel retailer was founded as a motocross-inspired decal and casual apparel brand in 2007, developing into the apparel market initially as a result of a marketing technique for the decal brand. The company kept its irreverent, cheeky sense of humour as it grew into a major brand with a North American presence and 90 stockists across New Zealand and Australia.
The ‘phoenix’ award for a dramatic return to form – Winner: Kathmandu
Runner-up: Banks Group, a 79-year-old family business which was sold by its receivers to a group of investors led by the son of its former director.
This year has been one of prosperity for Kathmandu, which turned 30. After a takeover crisis in 2015 saw EBITDA down 36.5 percent, the company turned profit on its head in both 2016 and this year. Now, Kathmandu is New Zealand’s go-to outdoor retailer, with half year profit rising 13 percent and shares rising 1.8 percent compared to 2016. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Kathmandu re-designed some of its iconic pieces, and over the year-long celebration encouraged customers to share their stories online of their adventures with Kathmandu items over the years.
The best brand mascot award – Winner: Junk & Disorderly’s “Adam”
Runner-up: Pak’n Save’s “Stickman”
Auckland second-hand and antique goods store Junk & Disorderly attracts droves of loyal shoppers through its artful arrangement of eye-catching oddities. Among the most reliably unusual is the sight of its anatomically-correct mannequin mascot Adam, who can be found sprawled on couches; lounging in a hammock; packed into trucks of new stock; sporting various vintage headwear and even, with a pair of shorts rendering him appropriate for younger viewers, appearing on The Block.