- Amazon wins Retailer of The Year Award
- Zyda Rylands, CEO of Woolworths South Africa, wins the inaugural Woman of The Year award
- Fashion Retail Academy, London, wins the Future Retail Challenge Award
- Terry Lundgren, Martha ‘Marty’ Wikstrom, Micky & Renuka Jagtiani inducted into The World Retail Hall of Fame.
Dubai, UAE, April 11, 2017:
The 11th edition of the World Retail Congress concluded with its annual World Retail Awards, held at Madinat Jumeirah under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Congress was hosted in the Emirate for the second consecutive year in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Many outstanding brands, individuals and campaigns were competing for accolades generally regarded as the retail industry’s most prestigious.
The World Retail Congress, which took place on 4-6 April, brought together global retail leaders, including over 1,400 attendees with an interactive program of workshops and talks from 150 speakers, to enable senior executives to meet with fellow industry experts and international retailers to discuss the key trends and ideas that shape the current retail industry.
At the World Retail Awards, in a closely fought contest for the top prize, Retailer of the year award, sponsored by IBM the judges chose Amazon. They described the retailer as ”simply a powerhouse, constantly innovating and challenging market norms while introducing new products and breaking the mould on everything from market penetration to revenue models.”
Commenting, Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress, said: “At a time when Amazon is viewed increasingly as a threat by many retailers, it is significant that our panel of judges has seen fit to award them this ultimate accolade.
“It speaks volumes about the power of the Amazon brand and its ability to keep innovating and disrupting that retailers regard it with both fear and admiration. It seems that the industry can’t live with them but can’t live without them.”
International Retailer of the Year, sponsored by MAGRABi, was won by Sephora. The judges praised the retailer’s ability to cross continents and cultures by subtly adapting its offer to create a brand that stands out in a very competitive marketplace.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, said: “We are proud to honour this diverse group of award winners that are leading the way in retail excellence and innovation. These companies have responded to pressing challenges with inventive and practical solutions. They serve as an example of how organisations can adapt to market trends, new technologies and the fast-changing needs of consumers around the world.”
Dubai Chamber’s President and CEO added: “I congratulate all of the winning companies for their accomplishments, and I look forward to seeing more UAE-based retailers make their mark on the global industry in the years to come.”
Winning the inaugural Woman of the Year Award, sponsored by Clarity Search, was CEO of Woolworths South Africa, Zyda Rylands. Commenting Zyda Rylands said: ‘“It is an honour to receive this inaugural Woman of the Year Award and to be recognised by such an esteemed and venerable group of retailers. I am blessed to receive the inaugural award, but I am even more excited that this is the first of many recognizing women in retail. Though competence transcends gender and race, there is still much work to be done by everyone in retail to ensure greater diversity in retail leadership. ”
Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSNi won Outstanding Leader of the Year, sponsored by Al Maryah Central. Alyce Tran, Co-Founder of The Daily Edited was declared the Young Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Majid Al Futtaim. Fashion Retail Academy, London won the Future Retail Challenge, which was sponsored by Chalhoub Group while Siam Discovery Exploratorium (Thailand) won Store Design of the Year, sponsored by Global Rich. The judges awarded Best Digital Customer Experience Initiative to Boyner Group (Turkey) and Tommy Hilfiger for Tommy’s Pier was given the award for Best Instore Customer Experience Initiative.
UK retailer Marks & Spencer scooped two awards: the Best Retail Advertising Campaign, sponsored by Apparel Group, for “Christmas with love from Mrs Claus” - RKCR/Y&R (UK) while Venture Labs by Marks & Spencer also won The Rodney Fitch Award for Innovation and Creativity, in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Finally, TOMS won Responsible Retailer of the Year and Kroger won the Retail Transformation and Reinvention Award, sponsored by The Boston Consulting Group.
Other highlights of the Congress included the World Retail Hall of Fame, now in its 11th year. Terry Lundgren, Executive Chairman of Macy’s, Inc., Martha ‘Marty’ Wikstrom, Founder of Atelier Fund and Micky & Renuka Jagtiani, the founders of Landmark Group, were all inducted into the Hall of Fame. For this, the World Retail Congress’s Advisory Board, the Grand Jury for the World Retail Awards, and other industry peers had once again identified individuals that they believe are true giants of the industry and have recognized the four individuals for their lifetime achievements and contribution to retailing.
The World Retail Congress has announced that the next Congress will take place on 17-19 April 2018 in Madrid, Spain.