Vodafone named ‘national retailer of the year’

Vodafone was crowned ‘national retailer of the year’ at the Australian Retailers’ Association’s annual awards in Melbourne on Thursday.

The telecommunications company said it had made significant improvements to its business and customer experience since a low point a few years ago by making common sense decisions and backing its people.

This was a fitting result, given this year’s theme, ‘Retail Morphosis’, which is all about how retailers adapt to change in order to succeed.

“Although the retail landscape will continue to be disrupted by emerging technology and international competitors, it is truly gratifying to see the industry filled with hardworking retailers who continue to power retail through innovation and adaption,” Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA, said.

Retailers including Petstock, Bakers Delight, Birdsnest, Coles Group and Biome were recognised for their achievements in innovation, marketing, customer experience and more. The winners in all 12 categories are listed below.

The awards took place at Myer Mural Hall on Thursday morning, and featured fashion parade capturing the history of Australian retail from the 1920s to the 1990s, with outfits curated by Myer and hair and make-up created by Chiseled Hair.

Models depicting Australia’s fashion history at the 2019 ARA awards.

Consumer futurist Amanda Stevens delivered a keynote speech on what the latest consumer research insights reveal about the opportunities for growth in the sector, and host Steve Plarre, CEO of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, entertained the audience with a rendition of ‘Uptown Funk’.

 2019 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Award Winners

Excellence in customer experience

  • Petstock
  • Birdsnest

Excellence in retail marketing

  • Bakers Delight
  • PETstock

Retail Innovator of the Year

  • Biome

Store design and fit-out of the year

  • First Choice Liquor Market – Coles Liquor

Retail business woman of the year

  • Chelsea McIntosh – Spoilt Gift and Homewares

Retail employer of the year

  • Petstock

Young retailer of the year

  • Aled Ball – On the Run

Retail graduate of the year

  • Esther Laub – The Sydney String Centre

National retailer of the year

  • Vodafone

Digital commerce retailer of the year

  • YCL Jewels

Franchise group of the year

  • Bakers Delight

Independent retailer of the year

  • Birdsnest

The judging panel included:

  • Alla Buinowicz, managing director at Taking Shape
  • Bernie Brookes AM, adjunct industry fellow at Swinburne University of Technology
  • Radinck van Vollenhoven, country manager of Stocard
  • Robyn Batson, group people and development manager at Sussan Group
  • Warwick Ponder, head of corporate affairs and communications at eftpos Australia


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