WORLD RETAIL AWARDS 2018
This year’s Awards categories have been fully updated and reviewed to ensure that we recognise and reward the areas that matter most to retailers in today’s market. We know from previous winners and finalists that this recognition serves as both a powerful boost for morale within the business and can be used effectively in external communications with stakeholders, suppliers and customers.
The award entries are reviewed by panels of expert judges who are specialists in each of the areas covered by the categories. The finalists are judged by the Grand Jury which is made up of retail leaders from across the different sectors and geographies that reflect retailing today.
With retailers recognising that the store needs to increasingly serve as a flagship, this category is looking to find the world's outstanding new store designs. This category is open to all retail sectors and store sizes that have opened in the last 12 months. Successful entries will demonstrate that the design is enhancing the retail brand while proving to be a truly innovative and commercial success. And in this omnichannel 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.
An increasing amount of a retailers’ marketing, advertising and communications spend is being directed towards social media. This is in direct response to the growing importance placed on social media by today’s consumers of all ages. It is an extremely powerful and effective communications tool that consumers turn to for information but also to voice negative comments. To communicate effectively via social media in launching a new marketing initiative to support the retail business or brand therefore demands a clear understanding of the channel, the target customers, the speed and agility required and above all, creative and engaging content. The judges will be asked to recognise the retailer that has created an outstanding campaign to support a launch, an initiative or message that uses social media as either the sole channel or as part of a multichannel approach.
Retail remains one of the biggest employers in most economies around the world. It requires a range of skills with an increasing demand for highly skilled and experienced digital personnel. The competitiveness to recruit and retain the very best people is growing ever tougher. This means that retailers have to place an even great emphasis on their people across the entire business from the way they are attracted to the company and then in meeting their career aspirations. Retailers have to be at the forefront of the most advanced policies in human resources. This important new category looks to recognise those retailers that are truly outstanding in their approach to the most important asset – people. If you believe you are among the very best places to work in the world – or particularly if you believe you are the best place to work – then this is the category you must enter.
Retailing has always been driven by the entrepreneurial spirit which has seen new businesses launch each year, many of which have gone on to become massive international or national businesses. But with the industry entering a new digitally-driven era, we are seeing a new generation of retail businesses being launched. Many are online-only and some are operating across channels including physical space. This new category looks to recognise the dynamism and creativity of retailing and the new entrepreneurs within it. We are looking for great new retail start-ups who have been trading for up to three years and can already demonstrate that they have a scale-able, sustainable business that is helping reinvent or reshape a category and is serving today’s consumers in new and compelling ways.
This important and prestigious award honours the retailer who the judges feel by their actions demonstrate that they are outstanding corporate citizens through on-going high standards but also a distinctive and effective initiative undertaken in the last 18 months. The award aims to recognise the values that form the cornerstone of a good business from its approach to its people, its customers, 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 18 months. This can be an initiative that is either focussed entirely on your people, or suppliers, customers or a wider environmental programme that helps those that your business touches on a wider basis. Innovation and tangible results will be a key criteria because this can take a company beyond the increasingly high standards expected of all.
Retailing is embracing rapid transformation as it remodels itself for the digital age. Every aspect of retailing is changing from the supply chain to the multiple selling channels, payments and the final delivery of products to customers. The common factor in all areas of change is the development of new technology solutions that are helping drive efficiency, innovation and sometimes a revolutionary new approach. This new category is looking to recognise the technology start-ups that are inventing new solutions for the retail industry that will impress the judges for the way that they have developed a new approach to an existing retail process that helps the business and ultimately creates a better experience for customers and employees. The award is open to start-ups of no more than three years old and is for one technology solution only.
One of the biggest drivers for retailers across all sectors from food to fashion is in the collaboration with celebrities or social media influencers. Celebrity and online personalities have become a powerful factor in today’s world and brings figures from film, theatre, fashion, music, beauty, entertainment and other areas of public life into the world of retail and brands. In collaborating with these big names, retailers can create strong ambassadors who can really connect and engage with target consumer groups. We are seeing great collaborations around the world and this new category has been created to recognise the most successful campaigns and celebrity relationships.
How can retailers gain that all-important competitive edge when the battle over original product or 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. We are seeing examples of this from both offline and online retailers. From Alibaba’s Singles Day to the 2017 category winner, Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy’s Pier. This award category is therefore looking for examples of outstanding customer experience that are being delivered by a retailer. This category is not looking to reward a store design but more about an amazing customer experience that could be delivered in store, or an experiential event created especially to deliver something truly outstanding that connects with your customers. This might also include interesting collaborations with related brands (e.g. Doc Martens and Jack Daniels). Judges will be looking for customer experiences that really stand out in an already highly competitive landscape. What makes this different and how has it captured the imagination and support of your customers? This category will be split in two: for retailers and for shopping malls to ensure that we recognise all great initiatives to delivering amazing customer experiences.
This award category is therefore looking for examples of outstanding customer experience that are being delivered in a mall. This category is not looking to reward a store design but more about an amazing customer experience that could be delivered in store, or an experiential event created especially to deliver something truly outstanding that connects with your customers. Judges will be looking for customer experiences that really stand out in an already highly competitive landscape. What makes this different and how has it captured the imagination and support of your customers? This category is open to shopping malls to ensure that we recognise all great initiatives to delivering amazing customer experiences.
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.