Australia’s retail superstars took home gold amidst a flurry of feathers and maracas at the National Retail Association (NRA) 2016 Rewards for Excellence Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held last Wednesday night at the Sydney Sofitel Wentworth.
This year’s ceremony took inspiration from Rio with an extravagant night of colour, music and glamour to celebrate retails best across Australia.
The annual NRA Rewards for Excellence program acknowledges achievements over 14 categories across all forms of retail businesses; from fashion boutiques and family-run corner stores to large retail giants and fast food outlets.
NRA Chief Executive Dominique Lamb said the Rewards for Excellence program played an important role in acknowledging innovation, sustainability and leadership in a pivotal sector of the economy.
“The retail industry in Australia is incredibly diverse and is a large employer of the working population,” she said.
“It’s truly inspiring and exciting to see how innovative and resilient Australian retailers are, particularly given the challenges they face with ever-evolving technology, legal minefields and ongoing training demands.”
Ms Lamb said the awards program was considered among the highest of accolades, and those nominated deemed the best in their field.
“The judging panel had a tough time singling out winners considering the high calibre of entrants and congratulations are in order to all of our winners and finalists,” Ms Lamb said.
This year Michel’s Patisserie Toronto took out the Franchisee of the Year as well as the night’s ultimate honour, Supreme Award for Retailer of the Year.
A highlight of the evening was the much-anticipated announcement of Young Retailer of the Year. Andrew Bentzen, Store Manager at Supercheap Auto, was named this year’s winner after a lengthy application process designed to uncover Australia’s movers and shakers of the future.
As part of his prize, Andrew has won a place on Westfield’s World Retail Study Tour, a 14-day education adventure across 4 world-leading retail destinations, valued at close to $14,000.
A portion of proceeds from the gala was also donated to TLC for Kids; a children’s charity dedicated to giving practical and emotional support to sick kids and their families across Australia.
Congratulations to the following 2016 NRA Rewards for Excellence winners:
Franchisee of the Year:
Michel’s Patisserie Toronto
Small Retailer of the Year:
Conscious Creative Incorporated – HoMie Street Store/HoMie Apparel
Medium Retailer of the Year:
Large Retailer of the Year:
EB Games Australia
Multichannel Retailer of the Year:
Employer of the Year:
Minor DKL Food Group Pty Ltd
Training Excellence Award:
Innovation Excellence Award:
Boost Juice Bars
Sustainability Excellence Award:
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Safety Excellence Award:
Young Retailer of the Year:
Winner – Andrew Bentzen, Store Manager, Supercheap Auto
Runner-up – Luke Parish, Area Manager NSW West, Boating Camping Fishing Ltd
HR Practitioner of the Year:
Brea Cornwell, Senior HR Advisor, City Beach
CEO of the Year:
Scott Meneilly, Retail Zoo
Supreme Award for Retailer of the Year:
Michel’s Patisserie Toronto
Photo’s from the event will be posted next week, so keep an eye out!