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HomeOPINIONHow we made The Retail Hotlist happen

How we made The Retail Hotlist happen

The Register and its print magazine NZ Retail held its first-ever awards ceremony, The Retail Hotlist, in Auckland recently. The party featured espresso martinis, “little meats”, two babies, loud laughing and a lot of happy retailers. If you were wondering how we made our selections for finalists and winners, read on for the speech our editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn gave on the night.

The Retail Hotlist is NZ Retail and The Register’s first-ever awards programme. My team spends all day every day celebrating retailers through our publications, and so we thought it was time to share the love a little wider with these awards.

With the help of our friends at Gem, powered by Latitude, we combed the retail landscape for the best and brightest businesses to highlight in the awards. We did this quite subjectively – there’s a lot of rigorously scientific retail awards out there and this isn’t one of those. If it looks like we’re just nominating all our favourite businesses, that’s because we are.

The full list of finalists for The Retail Hotlist featured 166 individuals and companies across 16 categories, with every aspect of retail from fit-outs to visionary leaders represented.

We then had our readers vote for their favourite finalists across April and May to decide the People’s Choice winners. More than 12,500 people voted in the awards – some may have even voted for businesses that weren’t their own!

As well as the 16 People’s Choice winners, we’re awarding a further 16 prizes to Judges’ Choice winners. Myself, Retail NZ chief executive Scott Fisher and BCG2 chair and executive creative director James Blackwood selected our top picks from the finalist pool based on their individual worthiness and impact on retail as a whole.

Retail is a romantic kind of business, even in a global environment where romance doesn’t necessarily pay the bills. Very few of us end up working in jobs we’d have recognised as children, let alone wanted to do, but there’s plenty of people in the crowd tonight who are living their childhood dreams. From boutique bookstores to top executive appointments, there’s still room in retail for unique and beautiful aspirations to flourish, and it’s been such a pleasure to compile a list of successes for The Retail Hotlist.

We’re about to launch into the awards. When it’s time to come up and get your award, I’d like you to give a speech of five words or less. We’ve stolen this concept from the Stoppies awards by StopPress, who nicked it from somebody else in turn – apparently the stand-out speech from last year went “This is an effing stitch-up.” You can copy that if you want.

Congratulations to everyone who made it into the finals, thanks very much to Retail NZ for their support and cheers to our beverage sponsors, Batched Espresso Martinis and Sundown Gin. Let’s get on with the awards.

For the full list of winners and an image gallery, click here.

Winners, finalists and in-depth interviews can be found in the current issue of NZ Retail magazine. Subscriptions are available here.

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