It’s wonderful to see everyone looking so shiny and fabulous tonight.
It’s not even October yet, and we’ve already seen so many new factors shaking up retail this year. There’s been fewer big-name international launches than previously, but instead, we’ve had host of employment law changes; new developments like Westfield Newmarket and Tauranga Crossing; and larger Kiwi retailers like The Warehouse Group, Farmers and Foodstuffs have been raising the bar by furiously rolling out front and back-end innovations.
New bricks and mortar stores from cool kids like Eat My Lunch and Allbirds are keeping the rest of us on our toes, and heritage retailers such as Michael Hill and Postie have celebrated milestone birthdays.
Hemp’s legalisation has created an exciting new product category and, collectively, retailers have just about eliminated plastic bags in stores – remember plastic bags? What a transformation that’s been.
Looking ahead, we’re soon to see the de minimis tax come into effect, plus the launches of Commercial Bay, local homewares giant Nido, and eventually Costco.
The retail industry can look quite glamorous from the customer’s point of view, and that’s kind of the point, but behind the counter, we all know everyone’s running as fast as they can to keep up with the pace of change.
The great thing about retail is that instant feedback is built into the model. You know when you’re doing well, because customers continue to shop with you.
You don’t really need an awards ceremony to tell you that you’ve got a great business, but my hope is that you’ll use the Gem Retail Hotlist as a chance to pat yourself on the back, share a little love with your team, and network with other members of your retail community.