The full list of categories for 2017 have been put together in consultation with our panel of senior retail judges in order to reflect the key priorities of retailers operating in this period of enormous challenge and transformation. We feel sure that there are many categories that are relevant to your business and would encourage you to enter these important awards. The feedback we get every year from winners and finalists is that it helps boost company morale, reward the teams involved and also promotes your appeal to customers and stakeholders.


Young Retail Entrepreneur of the Year

Young Retail Entrepreneur of the Year

This is an important award category for the World Retail Awards. Retailing has always been driven by entrepreneurs. It is in the nature of the industry. However, the digital revolution has brought with it a new generation of young entrepreneurs or ‘disruptors’ who have seized the potential of new technology, questioned existing retail sectors and products and have re-thought ways of delivering to customers or opened up new niches. They will be recognised for the way they have shaken-up long-established retail sectors and their leading retailers. The Young Retail Entrepreneur is defined as an individual (or individuals if joint founders) that are under the age of 35. Their business should be less than five years’ old.

Best Customer Experience Award

Best Customer Experience Initiative NEW

How can retailers gain that all-important competitive edge when the battle over original products and best prices grows ever harder? Increasingly, that edge is being delivered by great customer experiences that deliver to a retailer’s brand positioning or sets them apart from the competition through its originality and appeal. It could be an amazing customer experience delivered by a new store concept, or an element within a store, a loyalty programme, an online experience or a complete omni-channel experience. Judges will be looking for customer experiences that really stand out in an already highly competitive landscape. What makes this experience different and how has it captured the imagination and support of your customers?

Responsible Retailer of the Year

Responsible Retailer of the Year

This important award honours the retailer who, by their actions, demonstrates that they are outstanding corporate citizens through on-going high standards and also a distinctive and effective initiative undertaken in the last 12 months. The award aims to recognise the values that form the cornerstone of a good business from its approach to its people, suppliers, the environment and a sustainable future. Because this should be a goal for all businesses, the judges in this category will benchmark a company’s success at living their values, whilst at the same time looking for evidence of specific initiatives or an initiative that has been implemented within the last 12 months. This can be an initiative that is either focused entirely on your people, or suppliers, customers or a wider environmental programme.

Best Retail Advertising Campaign

Best Retail Advertising Campaign

This category is designed to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding advertising campaigns undertaken by a retailer to build the brand whether for a key company initiative, major promotion or seasonal event such as Christmas, Eid, Thanksgiving, Black Friday or China’s Single’s Day for example. Entries will be judged by industry peers who will apply the key retail measures of brand development, creativity, customer targeting and ROI. Open to retailers or their agencies, this award will be made to a retailer’s advertising campaign that uses either single or mixed media (and particularly including the use of online, social media or mobile). It should be a campaign that seeks to enhance the company or the brand and should not be a product launch or sale or clearance promotion. Any campaigns must have appeared between January 2016 and December 2016.

Store Design of the Year

Store Design of the Year

This category seeks to reward the world's most outstanding store design. Open to all retail sectors and store sizes that have opened in the last 12 months, successful entries will demonstrate that the design delivers a unique customer experience, enhancing the retail brand while proving to be a truly innovative and commercial success. In this omni-channel world, it is increasingly important for new store design to embrace technology that enhances the shopping experience and also helps form a bridge with the brand’s online proposition. Judges will also be looking for evidence of commercial success and customer acceptance.

The Rodney Fitch Award for Innovation and Creativity

The Rodney Fitch Award for Innovation and Creativity

Rodney Fitch CBE (1938-2014) was the founder of design agency, Fitch, which became one of the world’s leading names in store design. The World Retail Congress and Fitch launched this special award in Rodney’s name in 2016 to honour his legacy and his personal passion for design. As Rodney himself famously put it: “I have always felt I had a mission in life to deliver to ordinary people better places to shop”.

This award is therefore looking to honour an individual or team of creatives, whether within a retailer or a retail focussed design agency, who can demonstrate through their work that they share this mission. These design-led solutions could include work in store design, product design or via digital channels, but which should all set new levels of innovation and creativity in helping a retail business serve its customers.




These awards are not open to entries, instead nominations come from our expert judging panel, with the winners being chosen by the Grand Jury.

Retailer of the Year

This is the premier category in the World Retail Awards. It recognises the retailer the Grand Jury believes to be a truly world-class operator, with outstanding results across a number of important areas. With retailing becoming ever more complex and demanding, the Retailer of the Year will demonstrate that it is not only delivering exceptional financial performance and sales growth, but will also reflect the changes that are taking place across the industry and around the world. To be an outstanding retailer today, this business will be able to show how it has adapted to the realities of the digital world by transforming its approach to retailing and the way that it is managing for the future. If it has international operations, the judges will need to see that it is also executing this to the highest standards. Above all, this will be a retailer setting new standards for the whole industry to admire.

Best International Retailer of the Year NEW

Expanding beyond your home market is one of the most difficult and complex strategies for any retailer. Yet, it remains one of the most important routes to securing sustainable growth. Judges will be looking to recognise those retailers who have extended their brand and operations successfully into multiple markets. An important consideration will be in understanding how they have responded to the needs of the different markets they operate in, whilst retaining the integrity of their brand and positioning.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Selected by the World Retail Awards Grand Jury, the chosen retailer represents the qualities that summarise great retail leadership. They will be leading a business successfully through the dramatic challenges facing the industry; will have a strong strategic vision and possess the personal skills that have built focussed teams that deliver the businesses goals and meet the needs of their customers. The 2016 winner was Dr. Gordon Campbell, Consultant to the Board and former CEO of SPAR International.

Retail Transformation and Re-invention Award

Retailing is facing unprecedented external and industry change, driven by new digital technologies which are being adopted by consumers and which in turn is changing existing business models. This award therefore recognises those retailers who the judges believe have most successfully reengineered and re-energised their business to be fit-for-purpose in this new digital age and who look set to deliver sustainable growth. Given that transformation or turnaround does not happen over just 12 months, companies should submit supporting evidence and material from the last four years to show the transition of the business.


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